The rapidly expanding field of medical geology deals with the relationships between natural geological factors and health, both human and animal. It also aims to improve our understanding of the ways in which the geological environment has an impact on the geographical distribution of health problems. This new book brings together the work of geoscientists and medical/public health researchers, and addresses the health problems caused, or exacerbated, by geological materials (rocks, minerals, atmospheric dust and water) and processes (including volcanic eruptions and earthquakes). Among the environmental health problems discussed in the volume are: human and animal exposure to toxic levels of trace essential and non-essential elements such as arsenic and mercury; trace element deficiencies; exposure to natural dusts and to radioactivity; naturally occurring organic compounds in drinking water; and the effects of volcanic emissions. Examining the positive side of the equation as well as the negative, the book also deals with the many health benefits of geologic materials and processes.
This wide-ranging volume covers issues in medical geology all over the world with each author covering their respective region. It provides examples from different continents as well as a state-of-the-art review of the latest developments in the discipline. The authors are all recognized geoscientific and medical experts working in the field. The book is written for a wide variety of specialists from geologists, geochemists, pathologists and medical doctors to veterinarians and biologists.