2004 Denver Annual Meeting (November 7–10, 2004)

Paper No. 9
Presentation Time: 4:15 PM


SAVAGE, E. Lynn, Geology, City Univ of New York - Brooklyn College, 2900 Bedford Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11210, savage@brooklyn.cuny.edu

Natural and technological environmental health effects and medical anomalies of humans and animals including fossil diseases and the first occurrences of these in the fossil record, are designated as Medical Geology.

The interrelationship of environmental sciences with medical and environmental distribution of disease and health problems, with natural and anthropogenic redistribution of minerals, trace elements, organic and radioactive sources are addressed by dual disciplines, e.g.: Medical Geology, Medical Geography, Environmental Medicine, Environmental Geochemistry, etc.

In 1931, H. Zeiss used Geographic Medicine for studies in which maps were used to illustrate medical research. In 1990, Jul Lag defined Geomedicine to refer to medical problems resulting from environmental factors.

The use of dual-study terms, e.g.: Geochemistry, Geochronology, Geophysics, Geostatistics, Geoengineering, etc. have already set a precedent justifying adoption of Geomedicine to replace Medical Geology.

Anthropogenic pollution of the environment and of food, population increases, etc. has resulted in sudden rekindling of concern for impending health implications and implies adoption of term Geomedicine is timely.

Further, the comprehensive applications of Medical Geology should then be transferred to Geomedicine, which would become the main umbrella under which to include the sub-divisions of environment/health disciplines including Medical Geology, Medical Geography, Environmental Medicine, etc.

If a health issue is due to the influence of environmental factors, it is appropriate to apply the term Geomedicine.

However, an academic concern is that many geology and environmental texts report mainly environmental aberrations but not their medical effects. In addition, dual subjects, e.g., Geomedicine, require texts that provide basic medical terminology plus the factors (age, sex, health, genetics, synergies/antagonists), which influence biological mechanisms of failing organisms and causes of diverse responses, not just reports of the names of medical consequences of various environmental insults.