Essentials of Medical Geology

Essentials of Medical Geology

Impacts of the Natural Environment on Public Health

1st Edition - January 5, 2005

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  • Editor-in-Chief: Olle Selinus
  • eBook ISBN: 9780080454191

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This authoritative reference volume emphasizes the importance and interrelationships of geological processes to the health and diseases of humans and animals. Its accessible format fosters better communication between the health and geoscience communities by elucidating the geologic origins and flow of toxic elements in the environment that lead to human exposure through the consumption of food and water. For example, problems of excess intake from drinking water have been encountered for several inorganic compounds, including fluoride in Africa and India; arsenic in certain areas of Argentina, Chile, and Taiwan; selenium in seleniferous areas in the U.S., Venezuela, and China; and nitrate in agricultural areas with heavy use of fertilizers. Environmental influences on vector borne diseases and stormflow water quality influences are also featured. Numerous examples of the environmental influences on human health from across the globe are also presented and discussed in this volume.

Key Features

* Covers recent advances and future research topics at the intersection of environmental science and public health
* Developed by 60 experts from 20 countries and edited by professionals from the International Working Group on Medical Geology
* Includes 200+ color photographs and illustrations
* Organizes information in a highly structured format for easy reference
* Written for a broad audience, ranging from students, researchers, and medical professionals to policymakers and the general public


Geologists, geochemists, soil scientists, hydrologists, medical practioners, toxicologists, public health workers, biochemists, veterinartians, physicists, nutritionists, environmental economists, and social scientists.

Academics, professionals, and governmental policy makers from around the world. Note: Authors of individual chapters are international (approx. 20 nations).

Table of Contents

  • 1. Medical Geology: Perspective and Prospective
    Brian Davies
    Charlotte Bowman
    Theo Davies
    Olle Selinus

    I. Environmental biology

    Introduction to section. Ulf Lindh

    2. Natural background
    Robert Garrett

    3. Anthropogenic sources
    Ron Fuge

    4. Uptake of elements from a chemical point of view
    Robert J.B. Williams

    5. Uptake of elements from a biological point of view
    Ulf Lindh

    6. Biological functions of the elements
    Ulf Lindh

    7. Geological impacts on nutrition
    Gerald T. Combs

    8. Deficiencies and toxicities of elements
    Monica Nordberg
    M. George Cherian

    II. Pathways and exposures

    Introduction to section. Ron Fuge

    9. Volcanic emissions and health
    Philip Weinstein
    Angus Cook

    10. Radon in air and water
    Don Appleton

    11. Arsenic in groundwater and the environment
    Pauline Smedley
    David G. Kinniburgh

    12. Fluoride in natural waters – occurrence, controls and health aspects
    Mike Edmunds
    Pauline Smedley

    13. Water hardness and health effects
    Eva Rubenowitz-Lundin
    Kevin M. Hiscock

    14. The bioavailability of trace and major elements in soil
    Brian Alloway

    15. The natural environment - selenium deficiency and toxicity – process related diseases
    Fiona Fordyce

    16. Iodine geochemistry, soils and iodine deficiency
    Ron Fuge

    17. Geophagy and the involuntary ingestion of soil
    Peter Abrahams

    18. Natural aerosolic mineral dusts and human health: potential effects
    Edward Derbyshire

    19. An overview of the ecology of soil-borne human pathogens
    Mark Bultman
    Frederick S. Fisher
    Demosthenes Pappagianis

    20. Animals and medical geology
    Bernt Jones

    III. Environmental toxicology, pathology and medical geology
    Introduction to section. Jose A. Centeno

    21. Environmental epidemiology
    Jesper B. Nielsen
    Tina Kold Jensen

    22. Environmental medicine
    Jefferson Fowles
    Philip Weinstein
    Chin-Hsiao Tseng

    23. Environmental pathology
    Jose A. Centeno
    Florabel G. Mullick
    Kamal G. Ishak
    Teri J. Franks
    Allen P. Burke
    Michael N. Koss
    Daniel P. Pearl
    Paul B. Tchounwou
    Joseph P. Pestaner

    24. Toxicology
    Tee L. Guidotti

    25. Speciation of trace elements: methods and public health
    Bernhard Michalke
    Sergio Caroli


    Introduction to section. Robert B. Finkelman

    26. Using geographic information systems (GIS) databases for human health studies
    Joseph E. Bunnell
    Alexander W. Karlsen
    Timothy M. Shields
    Robert B. Finkelman

    27. Use of remote sensing and geographic information science techniques in the study of vector borne and zoonotic diseases
    Stephen Guptill
    Chester G. Moore

    28. Mineralogy of bioapatites: bones, teeth and pathological deposits
    Catherine W. Skinner

    29. Inorganic and organic geochemistry techniques
    Mitko Vutchkov
    Gerald Lalor
    Stephen Macko

    30. Histochemical and microprobe analysis in medical geology
    Jose A. Centeno
    Todor Todorov
    Joseph P. Pestanov
    Wayne B. Jonas

    31. Modeling ground-water flow and quality
    Leonard F. Konikow
    Pierre D. Glynn

    A. International reference values
    Peter Bobrowsky
    Roger Paulen
    Pauline Smedley
    Brian Alloway
    B. Glossary
    C. Annottated URLs for chapter-related Websites of interest

Product details

  • No. of pages: 832
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Academic Press 2005
  • Published: January 5, 2005
  • Imprint: Academic Press
  • eBook ISBN: 9780080454191

About the Editor in Chief

Olle Selinus

Affiliations and Expertise

Geological Survey of Sweden, Uppsala, Sweden

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