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Research Mini Monograph Urinary Arsenic Metabolites in Children and Adults Exposed to Arsenic in Drinking Water in Inner Mongolia China Guifan Sun Yuanyuan Xu Xin Li Yaping Jin Bing Li and Xiance Sun Department of Environmental and Occupational Health College of Public Health China Medical University Shenyang Liaoning People s Republic of China BACKGROUND We report the concentrations and distributions of urinary arsenic As metabolites in 233 residents exposed to 20 90 or 160 g L inorganic arsenic iAs in drinking water from three villages in Hohhot Inner Mongolia China that formed one control and two exposed groups METHODS We used hydride generation atomic absorption spectrometry HGAAS to determine iAs monomethylarsonic acid MMA and dimethylarsinic acid DMA RESULTS The concentrations of each urinary As species in the two exposed groups were significantly higher than in the control group for both children and adults Both children and adults in exposed groups had higher percent iAs and MMA and lower percent DMA and low primary and secondary methylation indices PMI and SMI respectively than those in the control group However children showed significant increases in percent DMA and the SMI as well as decreases in the percent MMA when the iAs exposure level increased from 90 to 160 g L In addition children in the two exposed groups showed lower percent MMA but higher percent DMA and higher SMI than adults in the same exposed group No significant differences in As metabolite concentrations and distributions were found between males and females in each group A significant correlation was also found in the SMI between 11 pairs of children and their mothers from the 160 g L exposed group CONCLUSIONS Children had higher a capacity for secondary methylation of As than adults when exposed to the same concentrations of iAs in drinking water Exposure to As may increase the capacity for methylation in children to some extent KEY WORDS arsenic children drinking water metabolism

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