SETAC Globe - Environmental Quality Through Science
 
  14 March 2013
Volume 14 Issue 3
 

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Centennial of the Discovery of Arsenicosis in Latin America

Marta I. Litter, President Local Organizing Committee As2014

Arsenic (As) is widely distributed in nature, and the contamination of waters by this element is mostly natural, generally associated with geological processes. The presence of the element in water intended for drinking has caused the spread of Chronic Endemic Regional Hydroarsenicism (CERH or HACRE in Spanish) or arsenicosis, a disease whose manifestations are mainly dermatological disorders, such as melanoderma, leucoderma and keratosis palmoplantaris, which may evolve into more serious pathologies such as different types of cancer.

The populations affected by CERH usually live in countries with low income levels, and the disease largely affects dispersed rural and peri-urban populations. In Latin America, it is estimated that the population at risk exceeds 14 million people, with high incidence in Argentina (it is estimated that about 4 million people could be at risk), Chile, El Salvador, Mexico, Nicaragua and Peru. In the rest of the world, the most affected countries are India, China and Bangladesh, although the presence of As in groundwater has been found in some European countries and in the United States.

In 2014, the centennial of the discovery of HACRE by Dr. Abel Ayerza in Bell Ville, C√≥rdoba, Argentina, relating skin disorders with the consumption of groundwater containing high concentrations of arsenic, will be commemorated at the 5th International Congress of Arsenic in the Environment (As2014) from 11–16 May 2014 in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

The Local Organizing Committee is composed of:

  • Honorary President: Hugo B. Nicolli, INGEOQUI-CONICET
  • President: Marta I. Litter, CNEA-CONICET-UNSAM
  • 1st Vice President: Ana Maria Ingallinella, UNR
  • 2nd Vice President: Alicia Fernandez Cirelli, FVET/UBA-CONICET
  • Secretary: Silvia S. Farías, CNEA
  • Treasurer: Alejo Pérez Career, FVET/UBA-CONICET
  • Pro Secretary: Charles Schulz, UNLaPampa

Prestigious international experts and recognized specialists in the different topics related to As will be invited to participate in As2014, from both the private and the academic sphere. The congress will allow the progress made on the topic to be known and contribute, without a doubt, to solutions to this pressing problem that affects the health of millions of people. The participation of young scientists through special scholarships will be facilitated.

Authors’ contact information: as2014.argentina@gmail.com

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