Arsenic accumulation in rice: Sources, human health impact and probable mitigation approaches

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


The human body loading with arsenic (As) through rice consumption is a global health concern. There is a crucial need to limit As build-up in rice, either by remediating As accumulation in soils or reducing As levels in irrigation water. Several conventional approaches have been utilized to alleviate the As accumulation in rice. However, except for some irrigation practices, those approaches’ success and the adoption rate are not remarkable. This review presents human health risks posed due to consumption of As contaminated rice, evaluates different biomarkers for tracing As loading in the human body, and discuss the latest advancement in As reducing technologies emphasizing the application of seed priming, nanotechnology, and biochar application for limiting As loading in rice grains. We also evaluated different irrigation techniques to reduce As accumulation in rice. Studies showed that the lifetime cancer risk rate ranges approximately 5–22 for the top rice-producing Asian nations. Human scalp hair and nails are commonly analyzed biomarkers to trace As in the human body. For decreasing As in rice, altering water management regimes significantly reduces grain As accumulation. Bio- and nano-priming of rice seeds improve germination and minimize As translocation in rice tissues by protecting cell membrane, building pool around seed coat, methylation and volatilization, or quenching harmful effects of reactive oxygen species. Nanoparticles application in the form of nano adsorbents or nanofertilizers facilitates nano-remediation of As through the formation of Fe plaque or sorption or oxidation process. Incorporating biochar in the rice fields significantly reduces As through immobilization, physical adsorption, or surface complexation. Again, As content in cooked rice was found to depend on irrigation source and raw rice As level. Copyright © 2022 China National Rice Research Institute.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)309-327
JournalRice Science
Issue number4
Early online dateJun 2022
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2022


Rokonuzzaman, M., Li, W. C., Man, Y. B., Tsang, Y. F., & Ye, Z. (2022). Arsenic accumulation in rice: Sources, human health impact and probable mitigation approaches. Rice Science, 29(4), 309-327. doi: 10.1016/j.rsci.2022.02.002


  • Arsenic
  • Rice
  • Scalp hair
  • Irrigation management
  • Seed priming
  • Nanotechnology
  • Biochar
  • Human health
  • PG student publication


Dive into the research topics of 'Arsenic accumulation in rice: Sources, human health impact and probable mitigation approaches'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.