Special Issue "Medical Geology: Impacts of the Natural Environment on Public Health"
A special issue of Geosciences (ISSN 2076-3263).
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2014)
Dr. Jose A. Centeno (Website)
Center for Devices and Radiological Health, Office of Science and Engineering Laboratories, Division of Biology, Chemistry and Materials Science, US Food and Drug Administration, White Oak Campus, Silver Spring, MD 20993, USA
Interests: environmental toxicology; environmental pathology; medical geology; health effects of trace elements; metals and metalloids
Prof. Dr. Robert B. Finkelman (Website)
Geosciences Department, University of Texas at Dallas, 800 W. Campbell Road, Richardson, TX 75080-3021, USA
Interests: geology; geochemistry; environmental geology
Dr. Olle Selinus
Linneaus University, Linnegatan 2, Kalmar 39233, Sweden
Interests: geology; geochemistry; mineralogy
All living organisms are composed of major, minor, and trace elements, given by nature and supplied by geology. Medical geology is a rapidly growing discipline dealing with the influence of natural geological and environmental risk factors on the distribution of health problems in humans and animals. As a multi-disciplinary scientific field, medical geology has the potential of helping medical and public health communities all over the world in the pursuit of solutions to a wide range of environmental and naturally induced health issues.
The natural environment can impact health in a variety of ways. The composition of rocks and minerals are imprinted on the air that we breathe, the water that we drink, and the food that we eat. For many people this transference of minerals and the trace elements they contain is beneficial as it is the primary source of nutrients (such as calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, and about a dozen other elements) that are essential for a healthy life. However, sometimes the local geology can cause significant health problems because there is an insufficient amount of an essential element or an excess of a potentially toxic element (such as arsenic, mercury, lead, fluorine, etc.), or a harmful substance such as methane gas, dust-sized particles of asbestos, quartz or pyrite, or certain naturally occurring organic compounds.
Current and future medical geology concerns include: dangerous levels of arsenic in drinking water in dozens of countries including the USA; mercury emissions from coal combustion and its bioaccumulation in the environment; the impacts of mercury and lead mobilizations in regions were artisanal gold mining is conducted; the residual health impacts of geologic processes such as volcanic emissions, earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes, and geogenic dust; exposure to fibrous minerals such as asbestos and erionite; and the health impacts of global climate change. Billions of people, most in developing countries, are afflicted by these and other environmental health issues that can be avoided, prevented, mitigated or minimized through research and educational outreach.
This Special Issue of Geosciences discusses recent advances in medical geology, providing examples from research conducted all over the world. Among the topics to be discussed are:
- Health effects from trace elements, metals and metalloids
- Regional and global impacts of natural dust (including the study of nanoparticles)
- Chemical and environmental pathology of diseases associated with natural environment
- Novel analytical approaches to the study of natural geochemical and environmental agents
- Research on beneficial health aspects of natural geological materials
- Risk management, risk communication and risk mitigation on medical geology
- Remote sensing and GIS applications on medical geology
- Epidemiology and public health studies on medical geology
- Climate change and medical geology
- Clinical and toxicological research on biomarkers of exposure
- Veterinary medical geology
- Biosurveillance and biomonitoring studies on medical geology
Original research on these topics will be welcome for this Special Issue.
Dr. Jose A. Centeno
Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. Papers will be published continuously (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.
Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are refereed through a peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Geosciences is an international peer-reviewed Open Access quarterly journal published by MDPI.
Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 300 CHF (Swiss Francs). English correction and/or formatting fees of 250 CHF (Swiss Francs) will be charged in certain cases for those articles accepted for publication that require extensive additional formatting and/or English corrections.