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Detection of Arsenic in Water, Herbal and Soil Samples by Neutron Activation Analysis Technique


Arsenic contamination of ground water is well understood while other environmental systems are rarely considered to be contaminated by arsenic. A vital issue is whether or not appreciable arsenic transmits through the food chain. Reportedly, ayurvedic herbal medicine products (AHMPs) manufactured in Asia were found to be contaminated by harmful level of Arsenic. This study was aimed to quantify the arsenic levels in water, herbal and soil samples collected from the same origin using highly accurate neutron activation analysis (NAA) technique. Harmful level of arsenic was detected in most of the water and soil samples. Moreover, a considerably harmful level of Arsenic was detected in herbal samples collected from the same origin. As a result, AHMPs manufactured in Asia might be contaminated by arsenic through arsenic contaminated herb plants.

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The authors would like to thank the Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission (BAEC) for allowing the experiment to be conducted in their laboratories; and the Department of Physics of Jahangirnagar University, Bangladesh for the financial assistance in collecting the samples. Thanks are also due to Professor M. Dilder Hossain and Dr F M Amirul Islam for their critical review of the manuscript.

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Correspondence to M. T. Islam.

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Islam, M.T., Islam, S.A. & Latif, S.A. Detection of Arsenic in Water, Herbal and Soil Samples by Neutron Activation Analysis Technique. Bull Environ Contam Toxicol 79, 327–330 (2007).

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  • Arsenic
  • Herbal
  • Neutron activation analysis (NAA) technique