|Assessment of usefulness of synchrotron radiation techniques to determine arsenic species in hair and rice grain samples
|The arseniasis in Southwest Guizhou, China has been identified as a unique case of endemic arseniasis caused by exposure to indoor combustion of high As-content coal. Present investigation targeted the microdistribution and speciation of the element arsenic in human hair and environmental samples collected in one of the hyperendemic villages of arseniasis in the area. Analyses were performed by micro-beam X-ray fluorescence (μ-XRF) and X-ray absorption fine structure (XAFS). The total As level in hair samples of diagnosed patients was detected at almost the same level as in their asymptomatic neighbors. Concentrations in the lateral cut of hair samples were high-low-high (from surface to center). XAFS revealed the coexistence of both the As+3 and As+5 states in hair samples. However, the samples from patients displayed a tendency of higher As+3 / As+5 ratio than the asymptomatic fellow villagers. The μ-XRF mapping of rice grains shows that arsenic penetrates the endosperm, the major edible part of the grain, when rice grains were stored over the open fire of high As-content coal. Synchrotron radiation techniques are suitable to determine arsenic species concentrations in different parts of hair and rice grain samples. As arsenic penetrates the endosperm, rinsing the rice grains with water will remain largely ineffective.
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