Arsenic hot spot in ground water in India
Arsenic is a naturally occurring trace element found in rocks, soils and the water in contact with them. Arsenic has been recognized as a toxic element and is considered a human health hazard. The occurrence of Arsenic in ground water was first reported in 1980 in West Bengal in India. In West Bengal, 79 blocks in 8 districts have Arsenic beyond the permissible limit of 0.05 mg/l. The most affected areas are on the eastern side of Bhagirathi River in the districts of Malda, Murshidabad, Nadia, North 24 Parganas and South 24 Parganas and western side of the districts of Howrah, Hugli and Bardhman. The occurrence of Arsenic in ground water is mainly in the aquifers up to 100 m depth. The deeper aquifers are free from Arsenic contamination.