ARSENIC AND FLUORIDE (Syllabus: GS Paper 2 – Health)

News-CRUX-10     27th December 2023        
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Context: The National Green Tribunal has issued notices to 24 states and four Union Territories in a matter regarding the presence of arsenic and fluoride in groundwater.


  • About: Arsenic, a tasteless and odorless metalloid, occurs naturally in the earth's crust and groundwater.
  • Toxicity: In its inorganic form, arsenic is highly toxic, leading to arsenic poisoning with severe health consequences.
  • Health Implications: High arsenic levels, results in adverse health effects, potentially causing multi-system organ failure and death.
  • Global Initiatives: Efforts under the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development focus on ensuring safely managed drinking water, free from arsenic contamination.
  • National Mission: The Jal Jeevan Mission, targeting 2024, aims to provide safe drinking water to all households in rural and urban India, addressing the arsenic threat.


  • About: Fluoride, a mineral, is naturally present in many foods and available as a dietary supplement. Fluoride is the ionic form of the element fluorine,
  • Varieties of Fluoride: The ailment manifests in dental fluorosis, skeletal fluorosis, and non-skeletal fluorosis, each affecting different tissues in the body.
  • WHO Guidelines: As per the World Health Organization (WHO), the acceptable concentration of fluoride in drinking water should not surpass 1.5mg/l.

National Green Tribunal (NGT)

  • Established: Under the National Green Tribunal Act 2010.
  • Principal Place of Sitting: New Delhi.
  • Composition: Chairperson, the Judicial Members, and the Expert Members.