Increase in rice grain arsenic for regions of Bangladesh irrigating paddies with elevated arsenic in groundwaters.

Paul Williams, MR Islam, EE Adomako, SA Hossain, YG Zhu, J Feldmann, Andy Meharg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

Concern has been raised by Bangladeshi and international scientists about elevated levels of arsenic in Bengali food, particularly in rice grain. This is the first inclusive food market-basket survey from Bangladesh, which addresses the speciation and concentration of arsenic in rice, vegetables, pulses, and spices. Three hundred thirty aman and boro rice, 94 vegetables, and 50 pulse and spice samples were analyzed for total arsenic, using inductivity coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). The districts with the highest mean arsenic rice grain levels were all from southwestern Bangladesh:? Faridpur (boro) 0.51 > Satkhira (boro) 0.38 > Satkhira (aman) 0.36 > Chuadanga (boro) 0.32 > Meherpur (boro) 0.29 µg As g-1. The vast majority of food ingested arsenic in Bangladesh diets was found to be inorganic; with the predominant species detected in Bangladesh rice being arsenite (AsIII) or arsenate (AsV) with dimethyl arsinic acid (DMAV) being a minor component. Vegetables, pulses, and spices are less important to total arsenic intake than water and rice. Predicted inorganic arsenic intake from rice is modeled with the equivalent intake from drinking water for a typical Bangladesh diet. Daily consumption of rice with a total arsenic level of 0.08 µg As g-1 would be equivalent to a drinking water arsenic level of 10 µg L-1. Concern has been raised by Bangladeshi and international scientists about elevated levels of arsenic in Bengali food, particularly in rice grain. This is the first inclusive food market-basket survey from Bangladesh, which addresses the speciation and concentration of arsenic in rice, vegetables, pulses, and spices. Three hundred thirty aman and boro rice, 94 vegetables, and 50 pulse and spice samples were analyzed for total arsenic, using inductivity coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). The districts with the highest mean arsenic rice grain levels were all from southwestern Bangladesh:? Faridpur (boro) 0.51 > Satkhira (boro) 0.38 > Satkhira (aman) 0.36 > Chuadanga (boro) 0.32 > Meherpur (boro) 0.29 µg As g-1. The vast majority of food ingested arsenic in Bangladesh diets was found to be inorganic; with the predominant species detected in Bangladesh rice being arsenite (AsIII) or arsenate (AsV) with dimethyl arsinic acid (DMAV) being a minor component. Vegetables, pulses, and spices are less important to total arsenic intake than water and rice. Predicted inorganic arsenic intake from rice is modeled with the equivalent intake from drinking water for a typical Bangladesh diet. Daily consumption of rice with a total arsenic level of 0.08 µg As g-1 would be equivalent to a drinking water arsenic level of 10 µg L-1.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4903-8
Number of pages6
JournalEnvironmental science & technology
Volume40
Issue number16
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Aug 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry

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