Arsenic in Paddy Soils and Potential Health Risk

  • Bushra Afzal
  • Ishtiaque Hussain
  • Abida Farooqi
Part of the Soil Biology book series (SOILBIOL, volume 53)


This chapter deals with the arsenic sources, its contamination in paddy soils, and its toxic effects to human health when it becomes the part of the food chain. Arsenic, the 20th abundant metalloid, exists naturally and has potential to become part of different matrices like air, soil, and water. In groundwater its contamination is recognized worldwide. Similarly, several studies indicate its contamination in paddy soils. Specially, arsenic has become a threat to sustainable rice cultivation in South and Southeast Asia. Rice has a special ability to uptake the arsenic, and it is a staple food in different countries of this region like Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan. In this region, people are at high risk of arsenic contamination through the ingestion of arsenic-contaminated rice. Thousands of people are suffering from the toxic effects of arsenic and its compounds all over the world. Arsenic in the human body is transported through the blood to the different organs of the body, in the form of MMA after ingestion. Its acute and chronic exposures cause several adverse health effects like dermal changes and respiratory, pulmonary, cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, hematological, hepatic, renal, neurological, developmental, reproductive, immunologic, genotoxic, mutagenetic, and carcinogenic effects. So, to overcome this issue, there is a need of modification in agricultural practices, genetic modifications, and public awareness regarding this menace.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bushra Afzal
    • 1
  • Ishtiaque Hussain
    • 1
  • Abida Farooqi
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Biological SciencesQuid-i-Azam UniversityIslamabadPakistan

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