These spots on the hands are a sign of chronic arsenic poisoning from drinking water (Arsenicosis).
Excerpt from Arsenic in Contaminated Water Increases Susceptibility to H1N1 Influenza
by S. L. Baker, features writer, Natural News
Not everyone who is exposed to an infectious disease, even the widely-feared new "swine" flu (A/H1N1), gets sick. And many people who do come down with the flu or another illness get over it without much trouble. While a lot of factors can be at work, from good nutrition to physical fitness, a new study suggests an all-too-common toxin in the water you drink could play a role in whether an H1N1 infection makes you seriously ill.
According to scientists at the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, and Dartmouth Medical School, the ability to mount an immune response to H1NI infection, a form of influenza A, can be significantly compromised by even low levels of arsenic exposure that commonly occur through drinking contaminated well water.
Global Arsenic Occurrence - Click map to enlarge
"One thing that did strike us, when we heard about the recent H1N1 outbreak, is [that] Mexico has large areas of very high arsenic in their well water, including the areas where the flu first cropped up. We don't know that the Mexicans who got the flu were drinking high levels of arsenic, but it's an intriguing notion that this may have contributed," Joshua Hamilton, the MBL's Chief Academic and Scientific Officer and a senior scientist in the MBL's Bay Paul Center, said in a statement to the media.
For arsenic to have health consequences, it requires exposure day after day, year after year, such as through drinking water -- and that's exactly the kind of exposure far too many Americans have to the toxin. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) claims 10 parts per billion (ppb) of arsenic in drinking water is "safe". However, according to Hamilton, concentrations of 100 ppb and higher are commonly found in well water in many regions of the country including Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Florida, and large parts of the upper Midwest, the Southwest, and the Rocky Mountains.
This image shows national-scale patterns of naturally occurring arsenic in potable ground-water resources of the continental United States. The image was generated in 2006 from the most recent arsenic measurement available for each of 31,350 wells and springs across the United States, and shows arsenic concentrations found in at least 25% of samples per county.
As reported in Natural News last fall (http://www.naturalnews.com/024909.html), research suggests the EPA's supposedly "safe" level of arsenic allowed in water supplies for public consumption isn't safe at all and could be causing a host of health problems, including high blood pressure and artery-clogging atherosclerosis. What's more, when the non-profit Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) analyzed data compiled by the EPA, the group's most conservative estimates based on the data indicated that more than 34 million Americans were drinking tap water supplied by systems containing average levels of arsenic that posed unacceptable cancer risks. Now it appears another serious health problem -- a higher susceptibility to a serious case of "swine flu" -- can be added to that list of arsenic-in-drinking-water linked worries.