ARSENIC: A Review on Exposure Pathways, Accumulation, Mobility and Transmission into the Human Food Chain

  • Beste ArslanEmail author
  • Mustafa B. A. Djamgoz
  • Ertan Akün
Part of the Reviews of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology book series (RECT, volume 243)


This review deals with exposure pathways of arsenic (As), as well as its transfer and uptake processes from its source to the human body. It is proven fact that uptake of inorganic As for a long period can lead to chronic As poisoning and a variety of adverse health effects such as skin, lung and bladder cancer, in addition to cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and gastrointestinal symptoms. As exposure occurs primarily from consumption of potable water containing high amounts of inorganic As and also from consumption of crops cultivated in As contaminated agricultural fields—either naturally or anthropogenically through contaminated air or pesticides—or irrigated with As containing water. In this review, light is shed on the transfer mechanism of As through the food chain and the parameters that enhance mobility of As in the environment. Amounts of As accumulation in plants and the transfer mechanisms are also quite different. These differences in As accumulation, such as in leaves, stems, fruits and roots, are discussed in detail. Moreover, presence of As in some vegetables consumed is given by investigating recent research articles that deal with As concentrations, especially in edible parts. Some comparative data are also presented, concerning the level of concentration of As in rice during washing, cooking and processing stages.


Arsenic Mobility Transmission Food chain Toxicity Plant Adsorption Desorption Reductive dissolution Microbial activity Health Cancer Co-morbidities Tuberous Leafy Stem Fruit Rice Contamination Absorption Uptake Processed food Irrigation water Diabetes Smelter 



This work was supported by Cyprus International University Biotechnology Research Center and Cancer Research Foundation in North Cyprus.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Beste Arslan
    • 1
    Email author
  • Mustafa B. A. Djamgoz
    • 1
    • 2
  • Ertan Akün
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of Engineering, Biotechnology Research CentreCyprus International UniversityNicosiaTurkey
  2. 2.Division of Cell and Molecular Biology, Neuroscience Solutions to Cancer Research GroupImperial College LondonLondonUK

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