Geochemistry and health, why geoscience information is essential

Fordyce, Fiona. 2000 Geochemistry and health, why geoscience information is essential. Geoscience and Development, 6. 6-8.

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Geochemistry in its strictest sense is the study of rock chemistry and at first glance it may seem there is little connection between the composition of rocks and human health. However, the various rock types that make up the surface of the planet comprise different mineral assemblages, which contain the 92 naturally occurring chemical elements found on Earth. Many of these elements are essential to plant, animal and human health in small doses, we all know that we need enough calcium in our diets to keep our teeth and bones healthy, for example. We intake most of these elements through the food we eat, the water we drink and the air we breathe. Through physical and chemical weathering processes, rocks break down to form the soils on which we grow our crops and raise the animals that make up our food supply. The water that we drink travels through rocks and soils as part of the hydrological cycle and much of the dust and some of the gases contained in our atmosphere are of geological origin.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Programmes: BGS Programmes > International
NORA Subject Terms: Earth Sciences
Ecology and Environment
Date made live: 14 Aug 2012 09:31 +0 (UTC)

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