Arsenic in Rice Poses Health Risks for Pregnant Women, Researchers Find (Bloomberg)


Dartmouth researchers are calling for the government to monitor arsenic in food after detecting increased levels of the element in pregnant women who had recently eaten rice.

The team at Dartmouth Medical School studied pregnant women because scientists believe arsenic may be linked to premature births and low birth-weights.

“Developing fetuses may be more vulnerable to environmental agents,” said Margaret Karagas, senior author of the Dartmouth study, which appeared in the December 6, 2011 edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Karagas said pregnant women should not avoid rice, as it contains important nutritional elements. Instead, she said her team wants food “to be monitored for the presence of arsenic and regulated to keep it below certain levels.”

Karagas is a professor of community and family medicine and director of the Children’s Environmental Health and Disease Prevention Center at Dartmouth Medical School. Diane Gilbert-Diamond ’98, a postdoctoral fellow, assisted Karagas in leading the study.

Read the full story, published on 12/5/11 by Bloomberg.

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