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The United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) developed an inhalation unit risk factor (URF) of 4.3E-03 per μg/m(3) for arsenic in 1984 for excess lung cancer mortality based on epidemiological studies of workers at two smelters: the Asarco smelter in Tacoma, Washington and the Anaconda smelter in Montana. Since the USEPA assessment, new studies have been published and exposure estimates were updated at the Asarco and Anaconda smelters and additional years of follow-up evaluated. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) has developed an inhalation URF for lung cancer mortality from exposures to arsenic and inorganic arsenic compounds based on a newer epidemiology study of Swedish workers and the updates of the Asarco and Anaconda epidemiology studies. Using a combined analysis approach, the TCEQ weighted the individual URFs from these three epidemiology cohort studies, to calculate a final inhalation URF of 1.5E-04 per μg/m(3). In addition, the TCEQ also conducted a sensitivity analysis, in which they calculated a URF based on a type of meta-analysis, and these results compared well with the results of the combined analysis. The no significant concentration level (i.e., air concentration at 1 in 100,000 excess lung cancer mortality) is 0.067μg/m(3). This value will be used to evaluate ambient air monitoring data so the general public in Texas is protected against adverse health effects from chronic exposure to arsenic. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Neeraja K Erraguntla, Robert L Sielken, Ciriaco Valdez-Flores, Roberta L Grant. An updated inhalation unit risk factor for arsenic and inorganic arsenic compounds based on a combined analysis of epidemiology studies. Regulatory toxicology and pharmacology : RTP. 2012 Nov;64(2):329-41

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PMID: 22813725

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