Exposure to high levels of arsenic has been linked to type 2 diabetes in past studies, but a new study shows low levels of arsenic might be linked to the disease as well, according to CNN.
Examining the medical tests of 788 adults, researchers found a nearly fourfold increase in the risk of diabetes in people with low arsenic concentrations in their urine compared with people with even lower levels. the article says. The research appears in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Arsenic can enter water supplies from natural deposits in the earth, or from industrial and agricultural pollution. According to the NRDC, arsenic in drinking water causes bladder, lung and skin cancer, and may cause kidney and liver cancer.
Lead author Dr. Ana Navas-Acien of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health said of the new study: "The good news is, this is preventable."
She added that new safe drinking water standards may be needed if the findings are duplicated in future studies, and they've already begun a study of 4,000 people.
In the meantime, the NRDC suggests purchasing filters certified by NSF International to remove arsenic from drinking water.
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