Temporal dynamics of Arsenic uptake and distribution: Food and water risks in the Bengal basin

D. Ghosh, Sarath Pullyottum Kavil, Joyanto Routh, Indira Pašić

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Contaminated food chain is a serious contender for arsenic (As) uptake around the globe. In Nadia, West Bengal, we trace possible means of transfer of As from multiple sources reaching different trophic levels, and associated seasonal variability leading to chronic As uptake. This work considers possible sources-pathways of As transfer through food chain in rural community. Arsenic concentration in groundwater, soil, rice, and vegetable-samples collected detected in different harvest seasons of 2014 and 2016. Arsenic level in shallow groundwater samples ranged from 0.1 to 354 µg/L, with 75% of the sites above the prescribed limit by WHO (10 µg/L) during the boro harvest season. High soil As content (∼20.6 mg/kg), resulted in accumulation of As in food crops. A positive correlation in As conc. with increase over period in all sites indicating gradual As accumulation in topsoil. Unpolished rice samples showed high As content (∼1.75 mg/kg), polishing reduced 80% of As. Among vegetables, the plant family Poaceae with high irrigation requirements and Solanaceae retaining high moisture, have the highest levels of As. Contaminated animal fodder (Poaceae) and turf water for cattle are shown to contaminate milk (0.06 to 0.24 µg/L) and behoves strategies, practices to minimize As exposure.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)62-77
Number of pages16
JournalToxicology and Environmental Chemistry
Issue number1-4
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Arsenic
  • vegetables
  • paddy
  • food intoxication
  • health risk


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