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Chile's doctors call for tighter controls on arsenic levels in water

BMJ 2000; 321 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.321.7274.1432/e (Published 09 December 2000) Cite this as: BMJ 2000;321:1432
  1. Emily Russell
  1. Santiago

    High arsenic levels in the water, soil, and air in the Antofagasta region in northern Chile have been criticised by Chilean scientists and doctors, who say the levels are responsible for the higher rates of cancer mortality among the local population.

    Death rates for lung cancer and bladder cancer are four and five times higher respectively in the region's capital, Antofagasta, than the national averages, according to an analysis of data for cancer deaths related to arsenic exposure provided by the Chilean Safety Association.

    Arsenic, a known carcinogen, exists naturally in the volcanic rocks …

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