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SEARCA DPS 2010-4: Accumulation of Arsenic in Fruits and Vegetables Grown in Arsenic-Contaminated Areas in Cambodia

This study investigated the arsenic accumulation of crops grown in arsenic-polluted areas of Cambodia. Groundwater arsenic concentration in the provinces of Kandal, Kampong Cham, and Prey Veng ranged from 0.1 to 2, 0.1 to 0.8, and 0.05 to 0.7 milligrams per liter (mg/L), respectively. With surface water being available, farmers seldom use groundwater to irrigate crops. The mean soil arsenic content of sampled crops collected in the study areas were 6.30 milligrams per kilogram dry weight (mg/kg DW) in Kandal; 8.71 mg/kg DW in Kampong Cham; and 1.60 mg/ kg DW in Prey Veng. Samples collected from Battambang have low concentration of arsenic in the groundwater (0-0.005 mg/L), but a higher level of arsenic in the soil (5.07 mg/kg DW). Arsenic accumulation in crops ranged from 0 to 0.97 mg/kg DW in rice, 0 to 0.70 mg/kg DW in corn, and 0 to 0.75 mg/kg DW in cassava. Generally, arsenic accumulation was lower in dry season crops. This may relate to the release of the arsenic’s absorbable form caused by rainwater during the rainy season. Arsenic accumulation was low in crops grown in various locations and sold in Phnom Penh markets. Although results show that crops grown in arsenic-polluted areas accumulated lower arsenic levels than the Chinese standard limit of 8.33 mg/kg DW, consumption of these crops adds to the arsenic intake of people in rural areas who also consume arsenic-polluted groundwater.

Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture
Authors Keywords
Davin Uy; Hak Sokchea; fruits; vegetables; root crops; arsenic accumulation;
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Published in 2010 and available in the SEARCA K-Shop or can be downloaded as full text Downloaded 105 times since December 04, 2018