Author(s): Martnez Hernndez J, LpezRodas V, Costas E
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Abstract An increasing number of people drink water from fresh water supply reservoirs. However, with the global change a lot of reservoirs become eutrophic, which facilitates the occurrence of toxin-producing cyanobacterial blooms. Microcystins (powerful hepatotoxic water-soluble heptapeptides) are the most important cyanobacterial toxins affecting humans. High doses of microcystins produce hepatic necrosis. Consequently, WHO Guidelines limit microcystins to 1 ppb in drinking waters. However, microcystins are present frequently in tap water at lower doses. Here, we hypothesized that chronic consume of tap water containing low doses of microcystins may be a risk factor for liver and colorectal cancer. Two kinds of evidences support this hypothesis. On one hand some epidemiological data (mainly in China). On the other hand, the molecular mechanism of microcystins toxicity (inhibition of protein phosphatases PP1 and PP2) is just like okadaic acid (a potent tumor promoter). Cancer risk from drinking water is certainly less than smoking, occupational exposures or some foods. But it is significant and with a rapid increase of toxic cyanobacterial blooms by eutrophycation, become more frequent.
This article was published in Med Hypotheses
and referenced in Journal of Chromatography & Separation Techniques