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Rice Grown In United States Contains Less-dangerous Form Of Arsenic

Date:
May 21, 2008
Source:
American Chemical Society
Summary:
Rice grown in the United States may be safer than varieties from Asia and Europe, according to a new global study of the grain that feeds over half of humanity. The study evaluated levels of arsenic, which can be toxic at high levels, in rice worldwide.

A new study analyzing several types of rice finds that grains grown in the United States may be safer than varieties grown in other countries.
Credit: Courtesy of Yamily J. Zavala

Rice grown in the United States may be safer than varieties from Asia and Europe, according to a new global study of the grain that feeds over half of humanity. The study evaluated levels of arsenic, which can be toxic at high levels, in rice worldwide.

Yamily J. Zavala and colleagues point out that rice is a potentially important source of human exposure to arsenic, especially in populations with rice-based diets. Arsenic in rice is of special concern because it accumulates in much higher concentrations in rice than other staple grain crops. The researchers discovered that arsenic contamination of irrigation water was more important than soil contamination in increasing arsenic levels in rice.

Using global arsenic data, the researchers classified rice into two types, where the predominant arsenic forms were either organic or the more toxic inorganic forms. They found that rice from the United States largely contains organic arsenic, which is less easily absorbed into the body and excreted more rapidly than inorganic arsenic.

Rice contaminated with inorganic arsenic prevails in Asia and Europe. The study suggests that breeding new rice varieties that convert inorganic arsenic to organic arsenic would be an "important risk reduction strategy, especially for countries like Bangladesh and India with arsenic contaminated environments and high rice consumption rates."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Chemical Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal References:

  1. Arsenic in Rice: I. Estimating Normal Levels of Total Arsenic in Rice Grain. Environmental Science & Technology. May 15, 2008. DOI: 10.1021/es702747y
  2. Arsenic in Rice: II. Arsenic Speciation in USA Grain and Implications for Human Health.Environmental Science & Technology. May 15, 2008. DOI: 10.1021/es702748q

Cite This Page:

American Chemical Society. "Rice Grown In United States Contains Less-dangerous Form Of Arsenic." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 May 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080519102012.htm>.
American Chemical Society. (2008, May 21). Rice Grown In United States Contains Less-dangerous Form Of Arsenic. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080519102012.htm
American Chemical Society. "Rice Grown In United States Contains Less-dangerous Form Of Arsenic." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080519102012.htm (accessed April 19, 2014).

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