Journal of Resources and Ecology ›› 2018, Vol. 9 ›› Issue (1): 85-91.DOI: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764x.2018.01.010

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Heavy Metal Concentrations in Rice from Guangzhou and Associated Health Risks

CHEN Nengchang*, ZHANG Xiaoxia, ZHENG Yuji   

  1. Guangdong Institute of Eco-Environmental Science& Technology/Guangdong Key Laboratory of Integrated Agro-environmental Pollution Controland Management, Guangzhou 510650, China
  • Received:2017-09-13 Revised:2017-11-20 Online:2018-01-30 Published:2018-01-26
  • Contact: CHEN Nengchang, E-mail:
  • Supported by:
    FORHEAD with funding from the Rockefeller Brothers Fund (RBF)

Abstract: In recent years, excessive levels of cadmium (Cd) in rice have been a focus of attention of the government, the public and scientists. In Guangzhou rice is a staple food for most citizens and understanding the level of Cd and other heavy metals in rice is important for food safety and health. Consumers in different income groups purchase rice from various sources at different prices but we know little about the relationship between price and safety. At the same time, the presence of zinc (Zn) can also affect the level of risk from Cd in rice and so affect food safety. This study offers a preliminary exploration of interactions between price, safety and nutritional quality. 125 rice samples were collected from markets and from the homes of high-income, middle-income and low-income groups in Guangzhou city, and were tested for the content of Cd and Zn. The results showed that 25.6% of the rice samples contained Cd in excess of the national standard, with higher levels of Cd in Indica rice than in Japonica. At the same time, we designed a questionnaire survey for groups with different incomes to assess their exposure to risks from rice with Cd and their perceptions and sources of information about risks. The survey showed that, as a whole, the low-income group faces higher risks from rice with Cd, and that there is strong public demand for scientific information about Cd in rice.

Key words: cadmium, groups with different income, Guangzhou, rice, risk