Arsenic-laced well water poisons Indian rice supply

INDIA — The bucolic portrayal of verdant, water-soaked rice paddies may be less benign than supposed. A new study reports that well water used to flood the paddies actually contains a high level of toxic inorganic arsenic.

According to the New York Times, the study, published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology, suggests that aerobic rice farming can significantly lower the amount of toxins that seep into the grain.

The study, led by Fang-Jie Zhao of Rothamsted Research in England, points to the benefits of aerobic irrigation over conventional flooding. The aerobic method uses strategic irrigation to decrease water use by almost half, reducing the quantity and concentration of poison to which the rice is exposed.

Read more here.

Source: The New York Times

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