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Medical geology: Perspectives and prospects
University of Victoria, Canada.
University of Venda, South Africa.
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Biology and Environmental Science.
2013 (English)In: Essentials of Medical Geology: Revised Edition / [ed] Olle Selinus, Springer, 2013, 1-13 p.Chapter in book (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This chapter is a brief history of medical geology—the study of health problems related to ‘place.’ This overview is not exhaustive; instead, it highlights some important cases that have arisen during the development of the science of medical geology. An excess, deficiency or imbalance of inorganic elements originating from geological sources can affect human and animal well-being either directly (e.g., a lack of dietary iodine leading to goitre) or indirectly (e.g., effect on metabolic processes such as the supposed protective effect of selenium in cardiovascular disease). Such links have long been known but were unexplained until alchemy evolved into chemistry in the seventeenth century, when medicine ceased to be the art of monks versed in homeopathic remedies and experimental explanations of disease was sought rather than relying on the writings of the Classical Greek philosophers, and modern geology was forged by Lyell and Hutton. In addition, the exploitation of mineral resources gathered pace in the seventeenth century and brought in its train the widespread release of toxic elements to the environment. New sciences of public health and industrial hygiene emerged and their studies have helped inform our understanding of the health implications of the natural occurrence of these elements.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer, 2013. 1-13 p.
National Category
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
Research subject
Natural Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-63204DOI: 10.1007/978-94-007-4375-5_1Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84961355899ISBN: 9789400743755 (electronic)ISBN: 9789400743748 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-63204DiVA: diva2:1094045
Available from: 2017-05-09 Created: 2017-05-09 Last updated: 2017-05-09Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
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  • de-DE
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