Email: frahmed @hotmail.com
Bangladesh is an agro-based country, and about 38% of total Gross Domestic Production (GDP) comes from agriculture. Agriculture in Bangladesh is characterized by intensive crop production, mainly of rice. This staple food supports a population of 130 million. However, arsenic contamination is now a major problem. Arsenic not only contaminates groundwater, but also toxifies soil and crops, and thus enters the food chain via plant uptake or via drinking water. Groundwater arsenic contamination occurs in 59 of 64 districts in Bangladesh, and millions of people now suffer from arsenic poisoning.
For my thesis, I will collect food samples (rice and wheat grain, husks, straw and roots) and soil and sediment samples from my study area in the Chandpur district of Bangladesh two times within two years. The food samples will be analysed for arsenic and selected heavy metals at Shimane University by Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer (AAS). The soil and sediment samples will be analysed by X-ray Fluorescence Spectrophotometer (XRF).
Such studies are needed to determine the impact of arsenic contamination from soil and irrigation water and to establish exact arsenic levels in the food chain. Bangladesh has achieved self-sufficiency in food, and such data will help assure maintenance of food quality and production level.