Nutrition

How dangerous is the arsenic in rice?

If rice is lowered to what is known as the safe water limit for arsenic, the risk of cancer is still around 500 times higher than normally thought. Given the arsenic in rice, how could we? number How Much Rice is Too Much? There are No US standards for arsenic in rice, although “food sources are the main source of exposure”. However, there are limits to the amount of arsenic in apple juice and tap water. To calculate this, experts must have sat down, figured out how much arsenic per day was too much – too risky – and then assumed that people typically drink four to eight cups of water a day and the limits on that Way, right? Okay, can’t we just take their number of arsenic per day which is too much arsenic per day and use the average arsenic in rice to find out how much rice per day is too much rice? I discuss this in my video How risky is the arsenic in rice?.

“The permissible level established The FDA for arsenic in bottled water is 10 ppb, assuming people are potentially drinking a liter a day. How much rice is that based on that 10 ppb daily limit?

“Every 1g increase in rice intake was connected with with a 1% increase in total urine arsenic, so 0.56 cups are eaten [a little over a half cup] Cooked rice was considered to be comparable to drinking 1 l / d, one liter per day of this maximally contaminated water. Well, if you can eat half a cup a day then why consumer reviews propose Eat just a few servings of rice a week? You could eat one serving almost every day and still meet daily arsenic limits for drinking water.

Well, consumer reports felt The 10 ppb water standard was too slack, so at 5 ppb it corresponded to the “protection standard of the country”. Guess where it came from? New Jersey. Good for New Jersey! So if you use 5 ppb instead of 10 ppb in the calculation, you can see how Consumer Reports made its recommendation of only a few servings of rice per week. Presumably this is based on the average arsenic content in rice. If you choose a rice with a lower arsenic content, one with only half the arsenic content, can you have four servings a week instead of two? And if you cook rice like pasta and let the excess water drain off, doesn’t that cut the level in half? If so, then you are up to eight servings a week. Apparently, based on the water standard, you could still be safely eating a serving of rice a day if you pick the right rice and cook it properly. I assumed that the water line is ultra-conservative since it is humans expected drink water every day of their life while most people don’t eat rice every day seven days a week. I made this assumption, but I was wrong. It turns out the opposite is true.

All this time, I’ve assumed that current exposure to drinking guidelines is safe, which for carcinogens is typically “1 in a million chances of developing cancer in one lifetime.” I’ve mentioned this before. This is how carcinogenic substances are typically regulated. If a company wants to release a new chemical, it needs to demonstrate that it causes no more than one in a million excess cancer cases. Of course there are 300 million people in this country, so the additional 300 families struggling with cancer do not feel better, but that is exactly the kind of agreed “acceptable risk”. ”

According to the National Research Council, the problem is that we are not doing this with the current federal drinking water standard for arsenic of 10 μg / l talk about an excessive risk of cancer in 1 in a million people, but up to 1 case in 300 people. Have those 300 additional cancer cases turned into just one million cases? A million more families grappling with a cancer diagnosis? “This is 3,000 times higher than the generally accepted cancer risk for an environmental carcinogen in 1 case in 1,000,000 people.” If we were use With a normally accepted cancer risk of 1 in 1 million, the water standard would have to be 500 times lower, 0.02 instead of 10. Even the New Jersey standard is 250 times too high. “While this is quite a drastic difference … it underscores how few precautions are in the current guidelines.”

Please wait. Why is the water standard not .02 instead of 10? Because that would be “almost impossible to do” because we simply don’t have the technology to keep the arsenic levels in water so low. The technologically feasible level was estimated at 3. Okay, why is the limit 10 and not 3? The decision to use a threshold of 10 instead of 3 was “mainly a budgetary decision”. A threshold of three would cost a lot of money.

So the current safety limit for water is more politically motivated than technology. Nobody wants to know that they have toxic tap water. If they did, they could ask for better water treatment and that would be expensive. “As a result, many people drink water very close to the current directive … and may not be aware that they are at increased risk of cancer.” Worse still, millions of Americans drink water exceed the legal limit as you can see in mine at 5:10 Video. But also the people who live in areas that correspond to the legal limit must understand These current arsenic guidelines are only marginally protective. “

Perhaps we should tell people who drink water – everyone – that the current arsenic regulations are a cost-benefit tradeoff and that based on the usual paradigms of health risk, the standards should be much lower. People need to be made aware that regulatory targets for arsenic should be as close to zero as possible. “When it comes to water, we should aim for the 3 achievable limit. But what does this mean for rice?

Well, so much first of all, just to try and get rice to the so-called safe water limit, as this “already exceeds the standard [carcinogen] Risks and is based on feasibility and cost-benefit tradeoffs ”, which“ allows about 500 times more cancer risk ”than is normally considered acceptable. “As authorities think about when and how to regulate arsenic levels in rice,” perhaps we should “limit or severely restrict our rice consumption.”

This is the blog post corresponding to the central video in my 13-part series on arsenic in the food supply. The last three videos focus on how to practically deal with the effects:

If you missed any of the first nine videos, see:

You might also be interested in Benefits of turmeric for arsenic exposure.

My arsenic streak reminds me of the extensive video series I did at the top:

  • How the lead paint industry got away with it
  • Lead in drinking water
  • How the leading gas industry got away with it
  • “Normal” blood lead levels can be toxic
  • The effects of low lead exposure in adults
  • How to lower lead levels with diet: thiamine, fiber, iron, fat, fasting?
  • How to lower lead levels with diet: breakfast, whole grains, milk, tofu?
  • Best foods for lead poisoning: chlorella, coriander, tomatoes, moringa?
  • Best food for lead poisoning: garlic
  • Can Vitamin C Help With Lead Poisoning?
  • Yellow peppers for male infertility and lead poisoning?

In health,

Michael Greger, MD

PS: If you haven’t already, you can subscribe to my free videos Here and check out my live presentations:

Related Articles