Assessment of risk from oral intake of arsenic contaminated rice: A necessary action

How to cite this article:
Wiwanitkit V. Assessment of risk from oral intake of arsenic contaminated rice: A necessary action. Ann Trop Med Public Health 2013;6:592-3
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Wiwanitkit V. Assessment of risk from oral intake of arsenic contaminated rice: A necessary action. Ann Trop Med Public Health [serial online] 2013 [cited 2020 Aug 8];6:592-3. Available from:

Dear Sir,

Rice is mainly intake in every meal of the local people in Southeast Asia. The recent report by Nookabkaew et al., [1] showed that there is a considerable intake of inorganic as from rice. As a carcinogen, the risk due to intake of arsenic contaminated rice has to be assessed. Nookabkaew et al., [2] mentioned that it is not possible to calculate the additional lifetime cancer risk from rice consumption. However, there are some ways to do the risk estimation based on the principle of preventive risk assessment in public health. To estimate the cancer risk from exposure of inorganic arsenic from the consumption of rice is necessary. There are two main techniques for such assessment. First, one might estimate the lifetime cancer risk by unit risk factor method as described in previously published paper. [2] (The unit risk factor is a slope of the specific extrapolated lower end of the substance specific dose-response curve in units of 1/μg/m 3 , which means it is to be used with a form of aerosol concentration to estimate cancer risk). However, the unit risk factor used in such calculation must base on the primary assumption that the arsenic has to be very small into the aerosol form and this might not directly relevant for dietary exposure. Second, the technique can be by using the oral cancer risk factor that is cited in the 2010 environmental protection agency (EPA) integrated risk information system (IRIS). Toxicological Review of Inorganic Arsenic. While this is a draft document, the oral cancer risk factors lifetime cancers per mg intake arsenic/kg body weight/day mentioned in this document are the best available data and are used in recent cancer risk assessments by the US Food and Drug Administration and the US Department of Agriculture. However, this technique has to mainly assume the average body weight, which will lead to a lot bias due to interpersonal variation. In addition, the individual lifetime cancer risk would have to include not only the estimate of the concentration of arsenic in rice but also an estimate of rice consumption. This would provide a dose of arsenic in μg/kg (μg arsenic/kg rice × kg rice consumed/kg body weight = dose of arsenic). This dose can then be multiplied by a cancer potency (slope) factor for oral intake which would be in units of 1/μg/kg-day. For each country where the local people intake rich as main food, it is suggested to collect the data on arsenic contamination and other required parameter for assessment to continuous monitor of the risk.

1. Nookabkaew S, Rangkadilok N, Mahidol C, Promsuk G, Satayavivad J. Determination of arsenic species in rice from Thailand and other Asian countries using simple extraction and HPLC-ICP-MS analysis. J Agric Food Chem 2013;61:6991-8.
2. Wiwanitkit V, Suwansaksri J, Soogarun S. Cancer risk for Thai traffic police exposed to traffic benzene vapor. Asian Pac J Cancer Prev 2005;6:219-20.

Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/1755-6783.133769

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