An international team of researchers has issued a report that suggests arsenic exposure from drinking water is a risk factor for a range of cancers.

The study, published in the peer-reviewed journal PLOS One, said that in some cases, exposure from water is linked to higher cancer rates.

The researchers, led by Professor Michael Rutherford of the University of Cambridge, used data from a global health survey conducted by the WHO.

The WHO uses the results to compile information on water quality and the health impacts of environmental contaminants in the environment.

The team found that arsenic levels in drinking-water wells were more likely to be higher in areas where people were exposed to higher levels of arsenic from air, soil, food and drink.

“This was an issue with both industrial and residential exposure,” Professor Rutherford said.

“Industrial exposure was found to be a risk for both colon and lung cancers, and in women.”

The study found that in men, the highest level of arsenic was in those who lived in areas that were polluted.

In the women, the lowest arsenic levels were found in those living in areas with poor water quality.

“These associations were seen in the women as well, and when we controlled for gender we saw that arsenic exposure was associated with higher cancer risks in women,” Professor Michael said.

He said this was because women were exposed at a higher rate than men, and had more exposure to arsenic.

“We think that this could be a biological phenomenon that has some relevance to the development of cancer,” Professor Michel said.

This study looked at arsenic levels from water wells, and found that exposure from air and soil was associated more strongly with cancers in women.

“It’s the first study that has looked at the association between air pollution and cancer risk in women and men, it’s the only one that has examined the association in women from both the industrial and domestic settings,” Professor David Wilkins, from the University, said.

Professor Wilkins said the data suggested the link between arsenic exposure and cancers was linked to air pollution, not soil contamination.

“Our results suggest that the relationship between arsenic and cancers in men and women is stronger in urban areas,” Professor Wilkins added.

“There’s some evidence that people living in industrial areas have higher levels, but there’s also some evidence to suggest that people in rural areas have lower levels, and people living on the coast may have higher rates.”

The researchers said they would be interested to hear from other countries.

Professor Rutherford said the work was a step in the right direction, but was far from conclusive.

“I think there’s a lot of work still to be done to understand how this relates to other diseases, particularly cancer, but I think the evidence that we’ve seen is very strong that arsenic is a cancer risk,” Professor Herbert said.

The National Health and Medical Research Council said the WHO report is a good first step in understanding how arsenic exposure in the home may contribute to cancer.

“The WHO has identified some of the most important public health risks associated with arsenic, and the findings of this study show that many of the risks are related to arsenic exposure, and to the presence of arsenic-containing waste,” a spokeswoman for the council said.

“This research highlights the importance of using existing research to develop prevention and control strategies that reduce the risk from arsenic exposure.”

However, we know that some people may be at greater risk from environmental contaminants, and we must continue to research new ways to reduce the risks.

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