HendersonAK, Inorganic arsenic in cooked rice and vegetables from Bangladeshi households

ArticleinScience of The Total Environment 370(2-3):294-301 · December 2006with20 Reads
Impact Factor: 4.10 · DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2006.06.010 · Source: PubMed


    Many Bangladeshi suffer from arsenic-related health concerns. Most mitigation activities focus on identifying contaminated wells and reducing the amount of arsenic ingested from well water. Food as a source of arsenic exposure has been recently documented. The objectives of this study were to measure the main types of arsenic in commonly consumed foods in Bangladesh and estimate the average daily intake (ADI) of arsenic from food and water. Total, organic and inorganic, arsenic were measured in drinking water and in cooked rice and vegetables from Bangladeshi households. The mean total arsenic level in 46 rice samples was 358 microg/kg (range: 46 to 1,110 microg/kg dry weight) and 333 microg/kg (range: 19 to 2,334 microg/kg dry weight) in 39 vegetable samples. Inorganic arsenic calculated as arsenite and arsenate made up 87% of the total arsenic measured in rice, and 96% of the total arsenic in vegetables. Total arsenic in water ranged from 200 to 500 microg/L. Using individual, self-reported data on daily consumption of rice and drinking water the total arsenic ADI was 1,176 microg (range: 419 to 2,053 microg), 14% attributable to inorganic arsenic in cooked rice. The ADI is a conservative estimate; vegetable arsenic was not included due to limitations in self-reported daily consumption amounts. Given the arsenic levels measured in food and water and consumption of these items, cooked rice and vegetables are a substantial exposure pathway for inorganic arsenic. Intervention strategies must consider all sources of dietary arsenic intake.