Urinary excretion of arsenic following rice consumption

A. A. Meharg*, P. N. Williams, C. M. Deacon, Gareth John Norton, Mohammed Kamal Hossain, D. Louhing, Ernest Melkiory Marwa, Y. Lawgalwi, Mark Antony Taggart, Claudia Cascio, P. Haris

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


Patterns of arsenic excretion were followed in a cohort (n = 6) eating a defined rice diet, 300 g per day d.wt. where arsenic speciation was characterized in cooked rice, following a period of abstinence from rice, and other high arsenic containing foods. A control group who did not consume rice were also monitored. The rice consumed in the study contained inorganic arsenic and dimethylarsinic acid (DMA) at a ratio of 1:1, yet the urine speciation was dominated by DMA (90%). At steady state (rice consumption/urinary excretion) ∼40% of rice derived arsenic was excreted via urine. By monitoring of each urine pass throughout the day it was observed that there was considerable variation (up to 13-fold) for an individual's total arsenic urine content, and that there was a time dependent variation in urinary total arsenic content. This calls into question the robustness of routinely used first pass/spot check urine sampling for arsenic analysis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)181-187
Number of pages7
JournalEnvironmental Pollution
Early online date19 Aug 2014
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2014


  • arsenic
  • rice
  • speciation
  • urine


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