Ashley-Martin J, Fisher M, Bélanger P, Mihai Cirtiu C, Arbuckle TE. Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology 2022 Aug 10. doi: 10.1038/s41370-022-00457-2
Exposure assessment of inorganic arsenic is challenging due to the existence of multiple species, complexity of arsenic metabolism, and variety of exposure sources. Exposure assessment of arsenic during pregnancy is further complicated by the physiological changes that occur to support fetal growth. Given the well-established toxicity of inorganic arsenic at high concentrations, continued research into the potential health effects of low-level exposure on maternal and fetal health is necessary. Our objectives were to review the value of and challenges inherent in measuring inorganic arsenic species in pregnancy and highlight related research priorities. We discussed how the physiological changes of pregnancy influence arsenic metabolism and necessitate the need for pregnancy-specific data. We reviewed the biomonitoring challenges according to common and novel biological matrices and discussed how each matrix differs according to half-life, bioavailability, availability of laboratory methods, and interpretation within pregnancy. Exposure assessment in both established and novel matrices that accounts for the physiological changes of pregnancy and complexity of speciation is a research priority. Standardization of laboratory method for novel matrices will help address these data gaps. Research is particularly lacking in contemporary populations of pregnant women without naturally elevated arsenic drinking water concentrations (i.e. <10 µg/l).