The hazardous chemicals, including heavy metals, radioisotopes and persistent organic pollutants (POPs) which are harmful to human, exist in the environment. It is necessary to control the amount of hazardous chemicals in order to prevent the absorption of hazardous chemicals into the crop plants from agricultural soils. We develop the technologies to produce high quality crops which has less amount of hazardous chemicals such as cadmium, arsenic, radioactive elements and POPs. The main countermeasure technologies which we are developing are as follows:
- Breeding new cultivars which accumulate less amount of hazardous chemicals such as cadmium and arsenic;
- Optimization of cultivation management including water management of paddy field and application of soil amendments in order to attenuate arsenic and cadmium in rice plants; and
- Removing the hazardous chemicals from soils by means of phytoextraction and bioremediation.
We also develop the methods for evaluating hazardous chemical contamination in soil, and predicting the uptake of hazardous chemicals in crops from the properties of cultivation soil. In addition, we develop new analytical methods for quantification and speciation of hazardous chemicals in soils and crops.