Exposition à l'arsenic dans l'eau potable: Une menace méconnue pour la santé au Pérou

Translated title of the contribution: Arsenic exposure in drinking water: An unrecognized health threat in Peru

Christine Marie George, Laura Sima, M. Helena Jahuira Arias, Jana Mihalic, Lilia Z. Cabrera, David Danz, William Checkley, Robert H. Gilman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To assess the extent of arsenic contamination of groundwater and surface water in Peru and, to evaluate the accuracy of the Arsenic Econo-Quick ™ (EQ) kit for measuring water arsenic concentrations in the field. Methods: Water samples were collected from 151 water sources in 12 districts of Peru, and arsenic concentrations were measured in the laboratory using inductively-coupled plasma mass spectrometry. The EQ field kit was validated by comparing a subset of 139 water samples analysed by laboratory measurements and the EQ kit. Findings: In 86% (96/111) of the groundwater samples, arsenic exceeded the 10 μg/l arsenic concentration guideline given by the World Health Organization (WHO) for drinking water. In 56% (62/111) of the samples, it exceeded the Bangladeshi threshold of 50 μg/l; the mean concentration being 54.5 μg/l (range: 0.1-93.1). In the Juliaca and Caracoto districts, in 96% (27/28) of groundwater samples arsenic was above the WHO guideline; and in water samples collected from the section of the Rímac river running through Lima, all had arsenic concentrations exceeding the WHO limit. When validated against laboratory values, the EQ kit correctly identified arsenic contamination relative to the guideline in 95% (106/111) of groundwater and in 68% (19/28) of surface water samples. Conclusion: In several districts of Peru, drinking water shows widespread arsenic contamination, exceeding the WHO arsenic guideline. This poses a public health threat requiring further investigation and action. For groundwater samples, the EQ kit performed well relative to the WHO arsenic limit and therefore could provide a vital tool for water arsenic surveillance.

Translated title of the contributionArsenic exposure in drinking water: An unrecognized health threat in Peru
Original languageFrench
Pages (from-to)565-572
Number of pages8
JournalBulletin of the World Health Organization
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Arsenic exposure in drinking water: An unrecognized health threat in Peru'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this