Plant and Soil

, Volume 257, Issue 1, pp 163–170 | Cite as

The relative exclusion of zinc and iron from rice grain in relation to rice grain cadmium as compared to soybean: Implications for human health

  • R W. Simmons
  • P. Pongsakul
  • R. L. Chaney
  • D. Saiyasitpanich
  • S. Klinphoklap
  • W. Nobuntou


During 2000–2002, diagnostic rice and soybean plant samples and concurrent soil samples were collected from cultivated fields within a geo-physically unique Zn/Cd co-contaminated location in Thailand. For the fields sampled, aqua regia-digested Zn and Cd concentrations ranged from 2.91–284 and 254–8036 mg kg−1, respectively. In comparison, rice and soybean Cd concentrations ranged from 0.02–5.00 and 1.08–1.71 mg kg−1, respectively. Further, the results indicate that grain Cd, Zn and Fe concentrations are in the order riceGr=soybeanGr, soybeanGr>riceGr, soybeanGr>riceGr, respectively. However, and critically from a human health perspective, Cd:Zn and Cd:Fe ratios are in the order riceGr>soybeanGr. In addition, the riceGr Cd:Fe ratio is an order of magnitude higher than that determined for soybeanGr. The results of this study, clearly demonstrate that compared to rice stalk (riceSt) and rice leaf (riceL), riceGr accumulates comparatively higher Cd than Zn and Fe thus resulting in the high riceGr Cd:Zn and Cd:Fe ratios. This is in direct contrast to the results observed for soybean.

cadmium comparative exclusion health implications iron rice grain zinc 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Alloway B J 1995 Cadmium. In Heavy Metals in Soils. Ed. B J Alloway. pp. 122–151. Second Edition. Blackie Academic and Professional, London.Google Scholar
  2. Baker E L, Jr., Hayes G G, Landrigan P J, Handke J L, Leger R T, H ousworth W J and Harrington J M 1977 A nationwide survey of heavy metal absorption in children living near primary copper, lead, and zinc smelters. Am. J. Epidemiol. 106, 261–273.Google Scholar
  3. Berglund M, Akesson A, Nermell B and Vahter M 1994 Intestinal absorption of dietary cadmium in women depends on body iron stores and fiber intake. Environ. Health Perspect. 102, 1058–1066.Google Scholar
  4. Brzóska M M and Moniuszko-Jakoniuk J 1997 The influence of calcium content in diet on the accumulation and toxicology of cadmium in the organism. Arch. Toxicol. 72, 63–73.Google Scholar
  5. Cai S, Lin Y, Zhineng H, Xianzu Z, Zhaolu Y, Huidong X, Yuanrong L, Rongdi J, Wenhau Z and Fangyuan Z 1990 Cadmium exposure and health effects among residents in an irrigation area with ore dressing wastewater. Sci. Total Environ. 90, 67–73.Google Scholar
  6. Chaney R L and Hornick S B 1978 Accumulation and effects of cadmium on crops. In Edited Proc. First International Cadmium Conference. pp. 125–140. Metals Bulletin Ltd. London.Google Scholar
  7. Chaney R L, Reeves P G and Angle J S 2001 Rice plant nutritional and human nutritional characteristics role in human Cd toxicity. In Plant Nutrition: Food Security and Sustainability of Agro-Ecosystems Through Basic and Applied Research. Ed. W J Horst. pp. 288–289. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, The Netherlands.Google Scholar
  8. Chaney R L, Ryan J A, Li Y M, Welch R M, Reeves P G, Brown S L and Green C E 1996 Phyto-availability and bio-availability in risk assessment for cadmium in agricultural environments In Sources of Cadmium in the Environment, pp. 49–78. OECD, Paris, France.Google Scholar
  9. Chino M 1973 The distribution of heavy metals in rice plants influenced by the time and path of supply. In Heavy Metal Pollution in Soils of Japan. Eds. K Kitagishi and I Yamane. pp. 95–104. Japan Scientific Societies Press, Tokyo.Google Scholar
  10. Chino M and Baba A 1981 The effects of some environmental factors on the partitioning of zinc and cadmium between roots and tops of rice plants. J. Plant Nutr. 3, 203–214.Google Scholar
  11. Codex Alimentarius Commission 2002 Report of the 34th Session of the Codex Committee on Food Additives and Contaminants, Rotterdam, The Netherlands 11–15 March 2002.Google Scholar
  12. Ewers U, Brockhous A, Dolgner R, Freier I, Jermann E, Bernard A, Stiller-Winkler R and Manojlovic N 1985 Environmental exposure to cadmium and renal function in elderly women living in cadmium-polluted areas of the Federal Republic of Germany. Int. Arch. Occup. Environ. Health 55, 217–239.Google Scholar
  13. Flanagan P R, McLellan J S, Haist J, Cherian G, Chamberlain M J and Valberg L S 1978 Increased dietary cadmium absorption in mice and human subjects with iron deficiency. Gastroenterology 74, 841–846.Google Scholar
  14. Fox M R S, Jacobs R M, Jones A O L and Fry B E Jr. 1979 Effects of nutritional factors on metabolism of dietary cadmium at levels similar to those of man. Environ. Health Perspect. 28, 107–114.Google Scholar
  15. Grusak M A, Pearson J N and Marentes E 1999 The physiology of micronutrient homeostasis in field crops. Field Crops Res. 60, 41–56.Google Scholar
  16. Hallberg L, Bjorn-Rasmussen E, Rossander L and Suwanik R 1977 Iron absorption from Southeast Asian diets. II. Role of various factors that might explain low absorption. Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 30, 539–548.Google Scholar
  17. Iimura K 1981 Chemical forms and behaviour of heavy metals in soils. In Heavy Metal Pollution in Soils of Japan. Eds. K Kitagishi and I Yamane. pp. 27–35. Japan Scientific Societies Press, Tokyo.Google Scholar
  18. Ito H and Iimura K 1981 Metal stress in rice plants. In Heavy Metal Pollution in Soils of Japan. Eds. K Kitagishi and I Yamane. pp. 66. Japan Science Society Press, Tokyo.Google Scholar
  19. Juliano B O and Bechtel D B 1985 The rice grain and its gross components. In Rice Chemistry and Technology. Ed. B O Juliano. pp. 17–57. Am. Assoc. Cereal Chem., St Paul, MN.Google Scholar
  20. Kido T, Honda R, Tsuritani I, Yamaya H, Ishizaki M, Yamada Y and Nogawa K 1988 Progress of renal dysfunction in inhabitants environmentally exposed to cadmium. Arch. Environ. Health 43, 213–217.Google Scholar
  21. Kido T, Nogawa K, Honda R, Tsuritani I, Ishizaki M, Yamada Y and Nakagawa H 1990 The association between renal dysfunction and osteopenia in environmental cadmium-exposed subjects. Environ. Res. 51, 71–82.Google Scholar
  22. Kitagishi K and Obata H 1979 Distribution of 115 mCd in rice plants absorbed by roots at vegetative stage. Rep. Environ. Sci., Mie Univ., 459–65.Google Scholar
  23. Kitagishi K and Obata H 1981 Accumulation of heavy metals in rice grains. In Heavy Metal Pollution in Soils of Japan. Eds. K Kitagishi and I Yamane. pp. 95–104. Japan Science Society Press, Tokyo.Google Scholar
  24. Koo S I, Fullmer C S and Wasserman R H 1978 Intestinal absorption and retention of 109Cd: Effects of cholecalciferol, calcium status and other variables. J. Nutr. 108, 1812–1822.Google Scholar
  25. Koshino M 1981 Metal stress in rice plants. In Heavy Metal Pollution in Soils of Japan. Eds. K Kitagishi and I Yamane. pp. 66. Japan Science Society Press, Tokyo.Google Scholar
  26. Kukier U and Chaney R L 2002 Growing rice grain with controlled cadmium concentrations. J. Plant Nutr., 251793–1820.Google Scholar
  27. Lindsay W L and Norvell W A 1978 Development of a DTPA soil test for zinc, iron, manganese and copper. Soil. Sci. Soc. Amer. J. 42, 421–8.Google Scholar
  28. Marr K M, Batten G D and Blakeney A B 1995 Relations between minerals in Australian brown rice. J. Sci. Food Agric. 68, 285–291.Google Scholar
  29. Marschner H 1995 Mineral Nutrition of Higher Plants. 2nd edn. Academic Press, London.Google Scholar
  30. McBride M B 1994 Environmental chemistry of soils. Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK.Google Scholar
  31. McGrath S P and Cunliffe C H 1985 A simplified method for the extraction of the metals Fe, Zn, Cu, Ni, Cd, Pb, Cr, Co and Mn from soils and sewage sludges. J. Sci. Food Agric. 36, 794–798.Google Scholar
  32. McKenzie-Parnell J M and Eynon G 1987 Effect on New Zealand adults consuming large amounts of cadmium in oysters. In Trace Substances in Environmental Health – XXI. Ed. D D Hemphill. pp. 420–430. University of Missouri Press, Columbia, MO.Google Scholar
  33. Nakashima K, Kobayashi E, Nogawa K, Kido T and Honda R 1997 Concentration of cadmium in rice and urinary indicators of renal dysfunction. Occup. Environ. Med. 54, 750–755.Google Scholar
  34. Nelson D W and Sommers L E 1996 Carbon and organic matter. In Methods of Soil Analysis Part 3, Chemical Methods. Ed. D L Sparks. pp. 961–1010. Soil Sci. Soc. Am. and Am. Soc. Agron. Madison, Wisconsin.Google Scholar
  35. Nogawa K and Kido T 1993 Biological monitoring of cadmium exposure in Itai–itai disease epidemiology. Int. Arch. Occup. Environ. Health, 63, 43–46.Google Scholar
  36. Nogawa K, Yamada Y, Honda R, Ishizaki M, Tsuritani I, Kawano S and Kato T 1983 The relationship between Itai-itai disease among inhabitants of the Jinzu River basin and cadmium in rice. Toxicol. Lett. 17, 263–266.Google Scholar
  37. Norvell W A 1984 Comparison of chelating agents for metals in diverse soil materials. Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J. 48, 1285–1292.Google Scholar
  38. Ogawa M, Tanaka K and Kasai Z 1979 Energy-dispersive X-ray analysis of phytin globoids in aleurone particles of developing rice grains. Soil Sci. Plant Nutr. 25, 437–448.Google Scholar
  39. Pedersen B and Eggum B O 1983 The influence of milling on the nutritive value of flour from cereal grains: 4. Rice. Plant Foods Hum. Nutr. 33, 267–278.Google Scholar
  40. Pongsakul P and Attajarusit S 1999 Assessment of heavy metals in soils. Thai J. Soils Fert. (Thai) 21, 71–82.Google Scholar
  41. Rayment G E and Higginson F R 1992 Electrical conductivity and soil pH. In Australian Laboratory Handbook of Soil and Water Chemical Analysis. Eds. G E Rayment and F R Higginson. pp. 15–23. Inkata Press, Melbourne.Google Scholar
  42. Reeves P G and Chaney R L 2001 Mineral nutrient status of female rats affects the absorption and organ distribution of cadmium from sunflower kernels (Helianthus annuus L.). Environ. Res. 85, 215–225.Google Scholar
  43. Reeves P G and Vanderpool R A 1998 Organ content and fecal excretion of cadmium in male and female rats consuming variable amounts of naturally occurring cadmium in confectionery sunflower kernels (Helianthus annuus L.). J. Nutr. Biochem. 9, 636–644.Google Scholar
  44. Sarasua S M, McGeehin M A, Stallings F L, Terracciano G, Amler R W, Logue J N and Fox J M 1995 Technical Assistance to the Pennsylvania Department of Health. Biologic indicators of exposure to cadmium and lead. Final Report, Palmerton, P.A.Part II. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, US-DHHS, Atlanta, GA.Google Scholar
  45. Strehlow C D and Barlthrop D 1988 The Shipham Report – An investigation into cadmium concentration and its implications for human health: 6. Health studies. Sci. Total Environ. 75, 101–133.Google Scholar
  46. Tsuritani I, Honda R, Ishizaki M, Yamada Y, Kido T and Nogawa K 1992 Impairment of vitamin D metabolism due to environmental cadmium exposure, and possible relevance to sex-related differences in vulnerability to bone damage. Jpn. J. Toxicol. Environ. Health, 37, 519–533.Google Scholar
  47. Walkley A 1947 A critical examination of a rapid method for determining organic carbon in soils: Effect of variations in digestion conditions and of inorganic soil constituents. Soil Sci. 63, 251–263.Google Scholar
  48. Welch R M and Graham R D 1999 A new paradigm for world agriculture: Meeting human needs productive, sustainable, nutritious. Field Crops Res. 60, 1–10.Google Scholar
  49. Welch R M 1986 Effects of nutrient deficiencies on seed production and quality. Adv. Plant Nutr. 2, 205–247.Google Scholar
  50. Wolnik K A, Fricke F L, Capar S G, Braude G L, Meyer M W, Satzger R D, Bonnin E and Gaston C M 1985 Elements in major raw agricultural crops in the United States. 3. Cadmium, lead, and eleven other elements in carrots, field corn, onions, rice, spinach, and tomatoes. J. Agric. Food Chem. 33, 807–811.Google Scholar
  51. Yoshikawa T, Kusaka S, Zikihara T and Yoshida T 1981 Accumulation of heavy metals in rice grains. In Heavy Metal Pollution in Soils of Japan. Eds. K Kitagishi and I Yamane. pp. 98. Japan Scientific Societies Press, Tokyo.Google Scholar
  52. Zhang Z-W, Moon C-S, Watanabe T, Shimbo S and Ilkeba M 1997 Contents of pollutant and nutrient elements in rice and wheat grown on the neighbouring fields. Biol. Trace Elem. Res. 58, 39–50.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • R W. Simmons
    • 1
  • P. Pongsakul
    • 2
  • R. L. Chaney
    • 3
  • D. Saiyasitpanich
    • 1
  • S. Klinphoklap
    • 1
  • W. Nobuntou
    • 2
  1. 1.International Water Management InstituteKasetsart UniversityBangkokThailand
  2. 2.Soil Science DivisionDepartment of Agriculture, ChatuchakBangkokThailand
  3. 3.USDA, ARS, Environmental Chemistry LaboratoryBeltsville

Personalised recommendations