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October 1979

Skin Cancer and Arsenical Intoxication From Well Water

Author Affiliations

From the Environmental Health Sciences Center, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Ore (Dr Wagner); the Environmental Medicine Division, University of Oregon Health Sciences Center, Portland (Dr Morton); and the Department of Chemistry, University of South Florida, Tampa (Dr Braman). Dr Maliner is in private practice in Eugene, Ore.

Arch Dermatol. 1979;115(10):1205-1207. doi:10.1001/archderm.1979.04010100025010

A case of acute arsenical intoxication arising from ingested well water containing only 1.2 ppm of arsenic is reported. After a latent period of 14 years, multiple cutaneous basal cell carcinomas developed. The water was analyzed for a variety of other trace elements and compounds and no evidence for the existence of other carcinogens was found. This study strengthens the concept that arsenic is a carcinogen. The role of a possible selenium deficiency is also discussed.

(Arch Dermatol 115:1205-1207, 1979)

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