Global Sourcing of Low-Inorganic Arsenic Rice Grain.




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Peer reviewed


Arsenic in rice grain is dominated by two species: the carcinogen inorganic arsenic (the sum of arsenate and arsenite) and dimethylarsinic acid (DMA). Rice is the dominant source of inorganic arsenic into the human diet. As such, there is a need to identify sources of low-inorganic arsenic rice globally. Here we surveyed polished (white) rice across representative regions of rice production globally for arsenic speciation. In total 1180 samples were analysed from 29 distinct sampling zones, across 6 continents. For inorganic arsenic the global x~ was 66 μg/kg, and for DMA this figure was 21 μg/kg. DMA was more variable, ranging from < 2 to 690 μg/kg, while inorganic arsenic ranged from < 2 to 399 μg/kg. It was found that inorganic arsenic dominated when grain sum of species was < 100 μg/kg, with DMA dominating at higher concentrations. There was considerable regional variance in grain arsenic speciation, particularly in DMA where temperate production regions had higher concentrations. Inorganic arsenic concentrations were relatively consistent across temperate, subtropical and northern hemisphere tropical regions. It was only in southern hemisphere tropical regions, in the eastern hemisphere that low-grain inorganic arsenic is found, namely East Africa (x~ < 10 μg/kg) and the Southern Indonesian islands (x~ < 20 μg/kg). Southern hemisphere South American rice was universally high in inorganic arsenic, the reason for which needs further exploration.


open access article



Carey, M., Meharg, C., Williams, P. et al. (2020) Global Sourcing of Low-Inorganic Arsenic Rice Grain. Exposure and Health,


Research Institute