Environment Systems and Decisions

, Volume 37, Issue 3, pp 344–352 | Cite as

Arsenic in the food chain and assessment of population health risks in Bangladesh

  • Md. Saiful Islam
  • Md. Kawser Ahmed
  • Md. Habibullah-Al-Mamun
  • Dennis Wayne Eaton


The most consumed food samples of cereals (rice, maize and wheat), vegetables (lentil, brinjal, carrot, bean, potato, tomato, onion and chili), fruits (banana, mango and jackfruit), fish (taki, rui, pangas and tilapia), egg (chicken and duck), milk (cow) and meat (chicken, duck, beef and mutton) were collected from some markets of Bogra district northern part of Bangladesh to evaluate the levels of arsenic (As) and associated health risk to the adult’s and child inhabitants. Arsenic is a highly toxic element, and its presence in food composites is a matter of concern to the world scientists. Target hazard quotients (THQs) and target carcinogenic risk were calculated to evaluate the non-carcinogenic and carcinogenic health risk from ingested arsenic. The highest and the lowest mean concentrations of arsenic were noted in the Tilapia fish [(0.94 mg/kg, wet weight (ww)] and beef (0.012 mg/kg, ww). The daily intakes of arsenic via foodstuffs were 1.92 and 3.30 µg/kg-bw/day for rural adults and children and 1.69 and 3.04 µg/kg-bw/day for urban adults and children, respectively. The result shows the highest THQs of arsenic in cereals and vegetables for both the rural and urban inhabitants which exceed the safe limit (>1) indicating that cereals and vegetables are the main food items contributing to the potential health risk. The estimated target cancer risks from ingesting dietary arsenic all exceeded 10−6, indicating increased risk of cancer for adults and children in the study area.


Arsenic Foodstuffs Health risk Bangladesh 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Md. Saiful Islam
    • 1
    • 2
  • Md. Kawser Ahmed
    • 3
  • Md. Habibullah-Al-Mamun
    • 2
    • 4
  • Dennis Wayne Eaton
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of Soil SciencePatuakhali Science and Technology UniversityDumki, PatuakhaliBangladesh
  2. 2.Graduate School of Environment and Information SciencesYokohama National UniversityYokohamaJapan
  3. 3.Department of Oceanography, Earth and Environmental Sciences FacultyUniversity of DhakaDhakaBangladesh
  4. 4.Department of FisheriesUniversity of DhakaDhakaBangladesh
  5. 5.Contract FacultyRutgers UniversityNew BrunswickUSA

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