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Co-Application of Silicate and Low-Arsenic-Accumulating Rice Cultivars Efficiently Reduces Human Exposure to Arsenic—A Case Study from West Bengal, India
, Mohammad Mahmudur Rahman,

We investigated the effect of practically realizable doses of silicate on arsenic (As) uptake by differential-As-accumulating rice cultivars grown on geogenically As-polluted soil. The possible health risk from the dietary ingestion of As through rice was also assessed. In addition, a solution culture experiment was conducted to examine the role of root-secreted weak acids in differential As acquisition by rice cultivars. When grown without silicate, Badshabhog accumulated a much smaller amount of As in grain (0.11 mg kg−1) when compared to the other three varieties. Satabdi, IR-36, and Khitish accumulated As in grain beyond the permissible limit (0.2 mg kg−1) for human consumption. The application of silicate effectively reduced the As content in the grain, husk, and straw of all of the cultivars. The grain As content fell to 17.2 and 27.6% with the addition of sodium metasilicate at the rates of 250 and 500 mg kg−1, respectively. In the case of Khitish, the grain As content was brought down within permissible limits by the applied silicate (500 mg kg−1). The integrated use of low-As-accumulating cultivars and silicate has great potential to reduce the public health risks associated with As. A positive correlation between root-secreted total weak acid and grain As content could explain the different rice cultivars’ differential As acquisition capacity.

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