In 2003, the International Water Management Institute reported that the Mae Sot district of Thailand had “considerable amounts” of cadmium and zinc in its irrigation water, paddy soils, and rice grain. Saengdao Khaokaew, a Thai graduate student at the University of Delaware and the principal investigator of the study, wanted to determine whether the cadmium remained in inert mineral form or attached to organic sulfur and carbon as a result of the flooding and draining cycles used to cultivate rice.

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