In the wake of a media frenzy surrounding high levels of arsenic in apple juice, a recently published study now indicates that eating rice may increase exposure to arsenic.
Researchers tested urine samples from over 200 pregnant women, some of whom ate a half-cup of rice daily and some who did not. Testing revealed that women who consumed a half-cup of rice for at least two days had 53 percent more inorganic arsenic in their urine than women who did not eat it, reports CBS News. (The study adjusted for the amount of inorganic arsenic in the drinking water.)
Arsenic has two forms: organic and inorganic. The organic form is not associated with harmful health effects, while the inorganic form is.
In pregnant women, inorganic arsenic consumption has been linked to premature births and low-birth weights. Ingesting small amounts of inorganic arsenic can also cause nausea, vomiting, decreased production of red and white blood cells, abnormal heart rhythm, damage to blood vessels, and a “pins and needles” sensation on the hands and feet, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In addition, studies indicate that it may increase the risk of cancer in the liver, bladder, lungs, and skin. Consuming large amounts of arsenic can be fatal.
“Our testing laboratory is one of the select few in the country that can detect whether a sample contains the benign organic form of arsenic or the inorganic form that causes a multitude of health problems,” states Shannon Kauffman, Metals Laboratory Supervisor at EMSL Analytical, Inc.
“Most testing companies cannot perform this type of test, known as metals speciation, so they outsource the work; EMSL does not.”
About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical, Inc. is a full service testing company providing quality lab services under the same private ownership since 1981. Including the corporate lab facility in Cinnaminson, NJ, EMSL Analytical operates over thirty laboratories nationwide in the US and Canada. We provide analytical services for environmental, indoor air quality (IAQ), industrial hygiene, forensics and materials science, consumer products, food safety, PCR, pharmaceutical, asbestos, lead, and radiological samples. The company has an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations, as well as state and federal regulating bodies. Please see our website for a complete listing of accreditations.