The 2014 Summit will focus on reducing the human health consequences of arsenic in the environment. The summit will open with a public lecture by Deborah Blum, best-selling author of The Poisoner’s Handbook and 2014 Kinter Lecturer, on Wednesday, August 13 at 5 p.m. A reception, sponsored by Nature's One, will follow the lecture.
The summit is modeled on the Future Search method that brings together diverse stakeholders in order to create and deliver upon concrete action plans. Participation in the stakeholder portion of the summit is by invitation only.
Arsenic’s presence in the environment, from both natural and human sources, has massive human health consequences for billions of people. Worldwide, approximately 3 billion people are exposed to arsenic in food and 500 million ingest arsenic in drinking water. People are exposed to elevated levels of inorganic arsenic through drinking contaminated water, using contaminated water in food preparation and crop irrigation, industrial processes, eating contaminated food, and smoking tobacco.
Numerous studies associate arsenic with adverse health effects. Drinking water with arsenic for many years can lead to cancer of the bladder, lung, liver, prostate, and skin; diabetes; heart disease; reproductive and developmental problems; and cardiovascular, pulmonary, immunological, neurological, and endocrine problems. Fetuses and babies exposed to arsenic face an increased potential for cancer and other diseases in adulthood. Exposure has also been associated with increased infant mortality, reduced birth weight, and reduced ability to fight other diseases.
Some expected actions from this summit are:
Kevin Strange, Ph.D.
MDI Biological Laboratory