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Environ Pollut. 2008 Dec;156(3):739-44. doi: 10.1016/j.envpol.2008.06.015. Epub 2008 Jul 21.

Spatial variability of arsenic concentration in soils and plants, and its relationship with iron, manganese and phosphorus.

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Soil Science Division, Bangladesh Institute of Nuclear Agriculture, P.O. Box # 4, Mymensingh 2200, Bangladesh.


Spatial distribution of arsenic (As) concentrations of irrigation water, soil and plant (rice) in a shallow tube-well (STW) command area (8 ha), and their relationship with Fe, Mn and P were studied. Arsenic concentrations of water in the 110 m long irrigation channel clearly decreased with distance from the STW point, the range being 68-136 microg L(-1). Such decreasing trend was also noticed with Fe and P concentrations, but the trend for Mn concentrations was not remarkable. Concerning soil As, the concentration showed a decreasing tendency with distance from the pump. The NH(4)-oxalate extractable As contributed 36% of total As and this amount of As was associated with poorly crystalline Fe-oxides. Furthermore only 22% of total As was phosphate extractable so that most of the As was tightly retained by soil constituents and was not readily exchangeable by phosphate. Soil As (both total and extractable As) was significantly and positively correlated with rice grain As (0.296+/-0.063 microg g(-1), n=56). Next to drinking water, rice could be a potential source of As exposure of the people living in the As affected areas of Bangladesh.

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