Water Quality, Exposure and Health

, Volume 3, Issue 1, pp 1–10 | Cite as

Arsenic Exposure from Rice and Water Sources in the Noakhali District of Bangladesh

  • Mohammad Mahmudur Rahman
  • M. Asaduzzaman
  • Ravi NaiduEmail author


Drinking water and food are the two major routes of the consumption of arsenic (As) by people in Bangladesh. This study reports exposure of adults in two adjacent rural villages of Bangladesh to As from drinking water and rice. Uncooked and cooked rice, drinking and cooking water, were sampled from 14 families to determine total As concentrations. Arsenic speciation in uncooked rice was also conducted to determine the percentage of inorganic As (arsenite and arsenate). Arsenic intake by people from rice and drinking water was also assessed. The average water intake rates were 3.2 and 2.7 L per day for adult males and females, respectively, whereas no significant gender difference was observed for rice intake. The study revealed that with one exception, all the families examined drank As-contaminated groundwater. They used As-safe pond water for cooking. The mean As concentrations in drinking and cooking water were 328 and 2.5 μg/L, respectively. The average As concentrations in uncooked and cooked rice were 153 and 139 μg/kg (dry weight), respectively. On average, 73% of the As present in uncooked rice was inorganic. The study showed that adult males and females consume 1099 and 933 μg of inorganic As per day, respectively, from rice consumption and drinking water. Rice contributed 49 and 47 μg per day of inorganic As for adult males and females, respectively. The study concluded that the villagers in the study area consumed considerable amount of As from drinking water and that exposure from rice was also not negligible, despite intensive programs by governmental and non-governmental agencies to reduce villagers’ exposure to As consumption.


Arsenic Drinking water Rice Arsenic speciation Arsenic intake 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mohammad Mahmudur Rahman
    • 1
    • 2
  • M. Asaduzzaman
    • 1
    • 2
  • Ravi Naidu
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Centre for Environmental Risk Assessment and Remediation (CERAR)University of South AustraliaMawson LakesAustralia
  2. 2.Cooperative Research Centre for Contamination Assessment and Remediation of the Environment (CRC-CARE)Salisbury SouthAustralia

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