Water-stingy agriculture reduces arsenic in rice markedly

Jul 28, 2008

A new farming method first developed to conserve precious irrigation water may have the added benefit of producing rice containing much less arsenic than rice grown using traditional rice-farming methods, researchers in the United Kingdom report. Their study is scheduled for the August 1 issue of ACS' Environmental Science & Technology.

In the new study, Fang-Jie Zhao and colleagues point out that rice — a staple crop for 2.5 billion people worldwide — also is a major source of human exposure to arsenic in certain countries.

Arsenic has been linked to cancer and other diseases. Arsenic gets in rice in countries such as Bangladesh and India when farmers flood rice paddies with arsenic-contaminated irrigation water.

The scientists compared rice plants grown in "flooded" soil in greenhouse conditions to rice plants grown under aerobic conditions. The other rice contained 10 to 15 times lower arsenic levels than the "flooded" rice, the scientists report.

Article: dx.doi.org/10.1021/es800324u

Source: ACS

Explore further: Scientists to explore USVI reefs as part of 12-year project

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Reducing arsenic accumulation in rice grains

Dec 10, 2014

Arsenic is a highly toxic element derived from both natural and human sources, the accumulation of which can trigger cancer and skin diseases in humans. A key human health concern is the contamination of ...

Recommended for you

Lights out in Australia as Earth Hour kicks off

Mar 28, 2015

The Sydney Harbour Bridge and the sails on the nearby Opera House went dark Saturday, as lights on landmarks around Australia were switched off for the global climate change awareness campaign Earth Hour.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.