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High concentrations of toxic cadmium found in Bangladesh rice

Posted: August 29, 2013 |   Comments

( A study by the American Chemical Society (ACS) ranked Bangladesh at the top of a list of 12 countries where high concentrations of cadmium were found in rice.

The researchers said that the presence of cadmium seems to be confined to certain regions and is not a country-wide phenomenon. Furthermore, they said that the source of the cadmium is industrial waste polluting paddy fields and the use of low-quality fertilizers.

The ACS reported finding .01 to .3 ppm cadmium per kg in Bangladesh rice. Cadmium can cause such health conditions as cancer, heart disease and kidney disease.

An official for Bangladesh's Soil Resource Development Institute (SRDI), Humayun Kabir Siraji, said, "Low-quality TSP fertilizers, and untreated wastes of garment factories, drug factories, textiles and tanneries which mixes with sources of water is causing high incidence of cadmium in our rice."

Last year, Siraji collected fertilizer samples from dealers across the country for SRDI. The institute tested the fertilizers and found that they contained many toxic metals, including zinc sulfate, gypsum and cadmium.

Professor Abdullahil Baque from the Sher-e-Bangla Agriculture University has insisted that the government take immediate steps to reduce the levels of cadmium found in the regions' water and soil. He also recommends that fertilizers be tested for the presence of cadmium before being applied.

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