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Speciated arsenic concentrations, exposure, and associated health risks for rice and bulgur
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Arsenic species were determined in rice and bulgur samples that were collected from 50 participants who also supplied exposure related information through a questionnaire survey. Speciation analysis was conducted using an HPLC-ICP-MS system. Ingestion exposure to arsenic and associated health risks were assessed by combining the concentration and questionnaire data both for individual participants and the subject population. Inorganic arsenic dominated both in rice and bulgur but concentrations were about an order of magnitude higher in rice (160. ±. 38. ng/g) than in bulgur. Because participants also consumed more rice than bulgur, exposures were significantly higher for rice resulting in carcinogenic risks above acceptable level for 53% and 93% of the participants when the in-effect and the proposed potencies were used, respectively, compared to 0% and 5% for bulgur. An inorganic arsenic standard for rice would be useful to lower the risks while public awareness about the relation between excessive rice consumption and health risks is built, and bulgur consumption is promoted.