metal accumulation
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Aquatic ecosystems are contaminated with heavy metals by natural and anthropogenic sources. Whilst some heavy metals are necessary for plants as micronutrients, others can be toxic to plants and humans even in trace concentrations. Among heavy metals, cadmium (Cd), arsenic (As), chromium (Cr), lead (Pb), and mercury (Hg) cause significant damage to aquatic ecosystems and can invariably affect human health. Rice, a staple diet of many nations, and other aquatic plants used as vegetables in many countries, can bioaccumulate heavy metals when they grow in contaminated aquatic environments. These metals can enter the human body through food chains, and the presence of heavy metals in food can lead to numerous human health consequences. Heavy metals in aquatic plants can affect plant physicochemical functions, growth, and crop yield. Various mitigation strategies are being continuously explored to avoid heavy metals entering aquatic ecosystems. Understanding the levels of heavy metals in rice and aquatic plants grown for food in contaminated aquatic environments is important. Further, it is imperative to adopt sustainable management approaches and mitigation mechanisms. Although narrowly focused reviews exist, this article provides novel information for improving our understanding about heavy metal accumulation in rice and aquatic plants, addressing the gaps in literature.

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