MDI Biological Laboratory Arsenic Summit: Approaches to Limiting Human Exposure to Arsenic

Curr Environ Health Rep. 2015 Sep;2(3):329-37. doi: 10.1007/s40572-015-0057-9.


This report is the outcome of the meeting "Environmental and Human Health Consequences of Arsenic" held at the MDI Biological Laboratory in Salisbury Cove, Maine, August 13-15, 2014. Human exposure to arsenic represents a significant health problem worldwide that requires immediate attention according to the World Health Organization (WHO). One billion people are exposed to arsenic in food, and more than 200 million people ingest arsenic via drinking water at concentrations greater than international standards. Although the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has set a limit of 10 μg/L in public water supplies and the WHO has recommended an upper limit of 10 μg/L, recent studies indicate that these limits are not protective enough. In addition, there are currently few standards for arsenic in food. Those who participated in the Summit support citizens, scientists, policymakers, industry, and educators at the local, state, national, and international levels to (1) establish science-based evidence for setting standards at the local, state, national, and global levels for arsenic in water and food; (2) work with government agencies to set regulations for arsenic in water and food, to establish and strengthen non-regulatory programs, and to strengthen collaboration among government agencies, NGOs, academia, the private sector, industry, and others; (3) develop novel and cost-effective technologies for identification and reduction of exposure to arsenic in water; (4) develop novel and cost-effective approaches to reduce arsenic exposure in juice, rice, and other relevant foods; and (5) develop an Arsenic Education Plan to guide the development of science curricula as well as community outreach and education programs that serve to inform students and consumers about arsenic exposure and engage them in well water testing and development of remediation strategies.

Publication types

  • Congress
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Arsenic / adverse effects
  • Arsenic / toxicity*
  • Community-Institutional Relations
  • Drinking Water / standards*
  • Environmental Exposure / adverse effects*
  • Food Contamination / analysis
  • Government Regulation
  • Humans
  • Maximum Allowable Concentration
  • Public Health
  • Risk Assessment
  • United States
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical / adverse effects
  • Water Supply / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Water Supply / standards


  • Drinking Water
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical
  • Arsenic