Arsenic poisoning reactions can be traced to genes

by Medindia Content Team on  June 27, 2005 at 11:47 AM General Health News   - G J E 4
Arsenic poisoning reactions can be traced to genes
The reaction to a common water pollutant called arsenic may not be the same in all people. Researchers have pointed out to a gene called CYT19 in people, particularly in children, that may be responsible for varied reactions to the metal called arsenic.

Arsenic exposure had long been associated with health hazards like cancer of the skin, lungs or bladder, circulatory problems, and neurological disorders. It can enter the body through water that gets polluted by toxic wastes of the industries, and leaves the body through the urine after causing as much damage as possible.

The research done by scientists from University of Arizona reports that individual genetic inheritance defines how much the arsenic taken by the body will cause harm to the health. Researchers found that three genes are involved in metabolism of arsenic in the body. The research also showed that children with a mutation of the gene variety CYT19 react to arsenic in a different manner than the adults.

The results of the research can be important as arsenic is often used as a drug to treat cancer. The researchers are hopeful that the new study will lead to new dosages of cancer drugs that will be taking the children's reactions into account.

Reference: Environmental Health Perspectives, June 2005

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