Trace element deficiencies and toxicities and human health

Measuring the size of the thyroid, Xinjiang case study, China

One of the principal applications of geochemical data is in research concerning the relationship between human health and trace element deficiencies and toxicities in the environment. G-BASE team members have actively been involved in such work which has generally been funded by the Department for International Development's (DFID) KaR (Knowledge and Research) programme. Studies have included investigations of toxic elements such as arsenic and mercury in mining areas as well as naturally occurring toxic levels of selenium in China. Natural deficiencies of selenium and iodine have also been investigated. A study of environmental controls in iodine deficiency disorders is currently an active project (2000 - 2003) and more information about the on-going work can be found from the web page link below.


DETAIL: Details of specific projects can be found by following the links and references below


BREWARD N and WILLIAMS T M. 1997. Geochemical and environmental health problems associated with gold mining. Mining and the environment [programme and abstracts].of the Society for Environmental Geochemistry and Health, 15th European Conference, Dublin, British Geological Survey.
FORDYCE F M, MASARA D and APPLETON J D. 1996. Final report on stream sediment, soil and forage chemistry as indicators of cattle mineral status in northeast Zimbabwe. British Geological Survey, Overseas Geology Series, No.WC/94/3.
FORDYCE F M, ZHANG G, GREEN K and LIU X.1998. Soil grain and water chemistry and human selenium imbalances in the Enshi district, Hubei Province, China. British Geological Survey, Overseas Geology Series, No.WC/96/54.
JOHNSON C C, GE X, GREEN K A AND LIU X. 2000. Selenium distribution in the local environment of selected villages of the Keshan disease belt, Zhangjiakou District, Hebei Province. Applied Geochemistry, Vol. 15 (3), 385-401.
PLANT J P, BALDOCK J and SMITH B. 1996. The role of geochemistry in environmental and epidemiological studies in developing countries. 7-22 in Environmental Geochemistry and Health. Appleton, J D (Ed.) No. 113, London, Geological Society Special Publication.
RAWLINS B G, WILLIAMS T M, BREWARD N and others. 1998. Preliminary investigation of mining related arsenic contamination in the provinces of Mendoza and San Juan (Argentina) and Minas Gerais State (Brazil). British Geological Survey, Overseas Geology Series, No.WC/97/60.
THORNTON I and PLANT J A. 1980. Regional geochemical mapping and health in the United Kingdom. Journal of the Geological Society of London, Vol. 137, 575-586.
WILLIAMS M, FORDYCE F M, and others. 1996. Arsenic contamination in surface drainage and groundwater in part of the southeast Asian tin belt, Nakhon Si Thammarat Province, southern Thailand. Environmental Geology, Vol. 27 (1), 16-33.
WILLIAMS T M, BREWARD N, LUMB A J and CUMMINS C. 1994. Trace element contamination around centres of gold mining: examples from peninsular Malaysia [abstract]. Environmental Geochemistry and Health, Vol. 16, 90.
WILLIAMS T M and BREWARD N. 1995. Environmental impact of gold and complex sulphide mining (with particular reference to arsenic contamination): project summary report. British Geological Survey, Overseas Geology Series, No.WC/95/2.
WILLIAMS T M, RAWLINS B G, SMITH B and BREWARD N. 1998. In-vitro determination of arsenic bioavailability in contaminated soil and miner beneficiation waste from Ron Phibun, southern Thailand: a basis for improved human risk assessment. Environmental Geochemistry and Health, Vol. 20 (4), 169-178.

Arsenic in soils: background and risk assessment.