Objective: To determine the level of arsenic concentration in vegetables and other food categories in three selected areas of Pabna district and to estimate quantitatively the dietary arsenic exposure in one of the arsenic contaminated areas of Bangladesh.
Materials and Methods: The study was conducted in Char Ruppur, Char mirkamari and Lakshmikunda village of Ishwardi Upzila in Pabna district. Ishwardi (Town) consists of 12 wards and 37 mahallas. Arsenic was detected in the ADM Lab, Department of Pharmacology, Bangladesh Agricultural University, Mymensingh with Hydride Generation Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer (HG-AAS; PG-990, PG Instruments Ltd. UK). Arsenic was detected by forming AsH, at below pH 1.0 after the reaction of As with a solution of sodium borohydride (NaBH0), sodium hydroxide (NaOH, M=40,000 g/mol,) and 10% HCI. In this test, standard was maintained as AsV ranging from 0 to 12.5 vg/L.
Results: A total of 120 vegetable samples, 15 rice samples and 15 fish samples were collected from five different markets of three different villages of Pabna district and were tested for arsenic concentration. Findings demonstrated that the mean concentration of As in leafy vegetables (0.52 pg g-1) was significantly higher compared to those found in fruity (0.422 pg g-1) and root & tuber vegetables (0.486 µg g-1).
Conclusion: Underground Contaminated water was the major source for the As contamination of various products in Pabna. The arsenic levels were found higher among the leafy vegetables samples in comparison to fruit and root & tuber vegetables. Further studies will be conducted to search the genetic risk factors of arsenic toxicity in the population of the mostly affected people.