Water-stingy agriculture reduces arsenic in rice markedly

July 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: Heightened risk in rice? Researchers discover the toxicity of thioarsenates for plants

Related Stories

Reducing arsenic accumulation in rice grains

December 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 drinking water and ...

Recommended for you

Hot spot at Hawaii? Not so fast

August 18, 2017

Through analysis of volcanic tracks, Rice University geophysicists have concluded that hot spots like those that formed the Hawaiian Islands aren't moving as fast as recently thought.

Supervolcanoes: A key to America's electric future?

August 16, 2017

Most of the lithium used to make the lithium-ion batteries that power modern electronics comes from Australia and Chile. But Stanford scientists say there are large deposits in sources right here in America: supervolcanoes.

Greenland ice flow likely to speed up

August 16, 2017

Flow of the Greenland Ice Sheet is likely to speed up in the future, despite a recent slowdown, because its outlet glaciers slide over wet sediment, not hard rock, new research based on seismic surveys has confirmed. This ...

Climate change will cut crop yields: study

August 15, 2017

Climate change will have a negative effect on key crops such as wheat, rice, and maize, according to a major scientific report out Tuesday that reviewed 70 prior studies on global warming and agriculture.

0 comments

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.