Is saliva a potential biomarker of arsenic exposure? A case-control study in West Bengal, India

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Saliva is a biological fluid that has not been used extensively as a biomonitoring tool in epidemiological studies. This study presents the arsenic (As) concentrations in saliva and urine samples collected from populations of West Bengal, India who had been previously exposed to high As levels in their drinking water. We found a significant (p < 0.05) association between the Log transformed Daily Ingestion of As (μg day-1) and the As concentration in saliva (r = 0.68). Additionally, As concentration of saliva and urine also had a significant positive correlation (r = 0.60, p < 0.05). Male participants, smokers, and cases of skin lesion were independently and significantly associated with an increase in salivary As. Thus our findings show that saliva is a useful biomarker of As exposure in the study population. The study also advocates that measurement of the forms of As in saliva may additionally provide insight into the internal dose and any individual differences in susceptibility to As exposure ​
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