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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(5), 5133-5136; doi:10.3390/ijerph110505133

How Soil Scientists Help Combat Podoconiosis, A Neglected Tropical Disease

Academic Medical Center (AMC), University of Amsterdam, Meibergdreef 9, 1105 AZ Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Received: 26 February 2014 / Revised: 5 May 2014 / Accepted: 8 May 2014 / Published: 13 May 2014
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Podoconiosis or “endemic non-filarial elephantiasis” is a tropical disease caused by prolonged exposure of bare feet to irritant alkaline clay soils of volcanic origin [1]. The name of the disease is derived from the Greek words for foot: podos, and dust: konos. Small mineral particles from irritant soils penetrate the skin and provoke an inflammatory response leading to fibrosis and blockage of lymphatic vessels, causing lymphoedema [2]. Patients suffer from disabling physical effects, but also stigma [1]. The disease can simply be prevented by avoiding contact with irritant soils (wearing shoes) but this is still an unaffordable “luxury” for many people. Podoconiosis is unique because it is a completely preventable non-communicable tropical disease [1]. In the past few years, podoconiosis has received increased advocacy and is now step by step appearing on the agenda of medical researchers as well as politicians. [...] View Full-Text

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Visser, B.J. How Soil Scientists Help Combat Podoconiosis, A Neglected Tropical Disease. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11, 5133-5136.

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