Arsenic contamination of irrigation water, soil and crops in Bangladesh:
Risk implications for sustainable agriculture and food safety in Asia

RAP PUBLICATION 2006/20

Arsenic contamination of irrigation water, soil and crops in Bangladesh: Risk implications for sustainable agriculture and food safety in Asia

Alex Heikens

FOOD AND AGRICULTURE ORGANIZATION OF THE UNITED NATIONS REGIONAL OFFICE FOR ASIA AND THE PACIFIC
Bangkok, 2006


The designation and presentation of material in this publication do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers and boundaries.

All rights reserved. Reproduction and dissemination of material in this information product for educational or other non-commercial purposes are authorized without any prior written permission from the copyright holders provided the source is fully acknowledged. Reproduction of material in this information product for sale or other commercial purposes is prohibited without written permission of the copyright holders. Applications for such permission should be addressed to the Water Resources Development and Conservation Officer, FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, Maliwan Mansion, 39 Phra Atit Road, Bangkok 10200, Thailand or by e-mail to Zhijun.Chen@fao.org

© FAO 2006

ISBN 974-9746-88-2

Photo credits cover page:Dr G.M. Panaullah, CIMMYT, Bangladesh
For copies write to:Zhijun Chen
Water Resources Development and Conservation Officer
FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific
Maliwan Mansion, 39 Phra Atit Road
Bangkok 10200
THAILAND
Tel: (+66) 2 697 4000
Fax: (+66) 2 697 4445
E-mail: Zhijun.Chen@fao.org

Contents

Foreword

Acronyms.

Executive summary

1. Background .

1.1 Arsenic contaminated irrigation water: the risks.

2. Arsenic in agriculture: current knowledge

2.1 Soil chemistry

2.2 Crops

2.3 Arsenic speciation in foods.

3. Bangladesh

3.1 Arsenic in irrigation water, soil and crops

3.2 Human exposure

3.3 Agricultural management options

4. Summary and recommendations

4.1 Knowledge and gaps in knowledge

4.2 Recommendations.

4.3 Stakeholders

4.4 Lessons learned.

References

Appendix I