Inorganic arsenic and trace elements in Ghanaian grain staples

Eureka E. Adomako, Paul N. Williams, Claire Deacon, Andrew A. Meharg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

63 Citations (Scopus)


A total of 549 samples of rice, maize, wheat, sorghum and millet were obtained from markets in Ghana, the EU, US and Asia. Analysis of the samples, originating from 21 countries in 5 continents, helped to establish global mean trace element concentrations in grains: thus placing the Ghanaian data within a global context. Ghanaian rice was generally low in potentially toxic elements, but high in essential nutrient elements. Arsenic concentrations in rice from US (0.22 mg/kg) and Thailand (0.15 mg/kg) were higher than in Ghanaian rice (0.11 mg/kg). Percentage inorganic arsenic content of the latter (83%) was, however, higher than for US (42%) and Thai rice (67%). Total arsenic concentration in Ghanaian maize, sorghum and millet samples (0.01 mg/kg) was an order of magnitude lower than in Ghanaian rice, indicating that a shift from rice-centric to multigrain diets could help reduce health risks posed by dietary exposure to inorganic As. (C) 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2435-2442
Number of pages8
JournalEnvironmental Pollution
Issue number10
Early online date19 Jul 2011
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2011


  • Inorganic arsenic
  • Rice
  • Maize
  • Sorghum
  • Millet
  • Ghana
  • Market basket survey
  • Human health
  • Cooked rice
  • Dietary exposure
  • Elevated levels
  • Risk-assessment
  • US
  • Bioavailability
  • Varieties
  • Cadmium


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