An integrated health risk assessment of indigenous children exposed to arsenic in Sonora, Mexico

Juan Francisco Maldonado Escalante, Diana Meza Figueroa, Ana Gabriela Dévora Figueroa, Leticia García Rico, Jefferey L. Burgess, R. Clark Lantz, Leticia Yañez Estrada, Marco Antonio Martínez Cinco, José de Jesús Balderas Cortés, Iram Mondaca Fernández, María Mercedes Meza Montenegro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Exposure to inorganic arsenic (InAs) through drinking water, even at low to moderate concentrations, is a global public health problem. The objectives of this study were to estimate the risk ratio (HQ), cancer risk (R), and DNA damage (comet assay) of children from three indigenous Yaqui populations located in southern Sonora, Mexico, who were exposed to InAs through drinking water. A cross-sectional study was employed, and analysis of InAs in water and urine was performed via HPLC/ICP-MS. InAs levels in drinking water from Pótam, Vícam, and Cócorit were 108.2, 36.0, and 6.2 μg/L−1 respectively. Children from Pótam had arsenic concentrations in urine of 107.1 μg As L−1 compared with 40.3 μg As L−1 for the children of Cócorit. The HQ values for the children of Pótam, Vícam, and Cócorit were 16.64, 6.02, and 0.94, while the R values were 9.4E-04, 3.5E-04, and 5.7E-05, respectively. Children with the highest arsenic exposure had significantly increased DNA damage (OTM = 14.4 vs. 4.3) [p < 0.0005] which positively correlated with urinary arsenic levels (r = 0.56, p < 0.0001). In conclusion, children of Pótam and Vícam are at significant risk of developing chronic diseases and cancers associated with chronic exposure to this metalloid.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)706-721
Number of pages16
JournalHuman and Ecological Risk Assessment
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 3 2019


  • DNA damage
  • arsenic
  • cancer risk
  • health risk
  • urine
  • water

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecological Modeling
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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