A novel nonwoven fabric adsorbent having 4-vinylpyridine functional groups was prepared by using radiation-induced emulsion graft polymerization method and grafting 4-vinylpyridine monomer onto a polyethylene-coated polypropylene nonwoven fabric (NWF) in aqueous emulsion solution. The grafting conditions of the 4-vinylpyridine monomer onto the NWF were optimised and 150% D-g VP-g-NWF was prepared using 30 kGy pre-irradiation dose, 5% VP monomer concentration and 0.5% (w/w) Tween 20 in aqueous emulsion. Grafted 4-vinylpyridine chains on the NWF were then quaternized for the preparation of QVP-g-NWF adsorbent. All fabric structures were characterized by using Fourier-transform infrared spectrometer, x-ray photoelectron spectrometer and scanning electron microscope. QVP-g-NWF adsorbent was used in batch adsorption experiments for As(V) ions by studying the pH, contact time, and initial As(V) ion concentration parameters. Results showed that QVP-g-NWF adsorbent has significant As (V) adsorption and experimental As(V) adsorption capacity was 98.04 mg As(V)/g polymer from 500 mg/L initial As(V) concentration at pH 7.00. (C) 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.