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 mu g 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 (As-III) or arsenate (AsV) with dimethyl arsinic acid (DMA(V)) 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 mu g As g(-1) would be equivalent to a drinking water arsenic level of 10 mu g L-1.
- AFFECTED AREA
- COOKED RICE