We examined the effect of two types of iron (Fe) material produced by the casting industry (spent steel shot [SSS] and residual iron material from steel shot production) on the mobility of arsenic (As) and cadmium (Cd) in soils. We also examined the uptake of these elements by rice plants (Oryza Sativa L.) under continuously flooded (CF) and water-saving (WS) cultivation. The application of both Fe materials (at 10 and 30 t ha‒1) strictly limited As mobilization in soils under CF cultivation. As a result, As uptake by rice plants declined, along with the total and inorganic As (iAs) concentration in rice grains. In comparison, As immobilization caused by the application of Fe material was less clear under WS cultivation. The rate of Fe material application was negatively correlated with As uptake by rice plants. It was also negatively correlated with total and iAs concentration in rice grains under both water management practices. The combination of applying Fe materials and WS cultivation decreased iAs concentration in rice grains to approximately one-fifth of that in rice grains produced from plants grown on soils without Fe material application under CF cultivation. CF cultivation strictly decreased dissolved Cd in soils, as well as Cd in rice grains with and without Fe material application. The application of Fe materials decreased Cd mobility and, hence, Cd uptake in rice plants, ultimately reducing the accumulation of Cd in rice grains under WS cultivation. Residual Fe material had a statistically greater effect at attenuating Cd accumulation in rice grains than SSS. The present study demonstrated the potential of combining by-product Fe material application and water management practices to attenuate iAs and/or Cd concentrations in rice grains. Practical countermeasures should be carefully adopted that consider the existing risks of iAs and Cd on each paddy field, and the combined effect of Fe material application and water management practices.
- by-product iron
- water management