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Book Chapter

An Overview of the Abundance, Relative Mobility, Bioavailability, and Human Toxicity of Metals

By
Kathleen S. Smith
Kathleen S. Smith
1
U.S. Geological Survey, Box 25046, MS 973, Federal Center, Denver, CO 80225-0046
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Holly L.O. Huyck
Holly L.O. Huyck
2
P.O. Box 28161-16, Lakewood, CO 80228
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Published:
January 01, 1997

Abstract

A major reason for considering the environmental geochemistry of mineral deposits is the environmental impact from such deposits on human, animal, and plant life. Some human activities may perturb or alter natural cycles of metals in the environment leading to accumulation of many potentially toxic metals in the food chain. To adequately assess the impact of human activities on metals in the environment, one must approach the issue from both a geological/geochemical/physical viewpoint and a biological/ biochemical/toxicological perspective.

This chapter provides a geochemical and a biological context for chapters in this volume that discuss specifics of environmental geochemistry of mineral deposits. We alternate between the geological/geochemical/physical and biological/biochemical/toxico- logical aspects of selected metals. Because the emphasis of this volume is the environmental geochemistry of mineral deposits, we present examples that relate to metals or mineral deposits rather than provide a review of the literature. We also place emphasis on geological, geochemical, and chemical factors that affect metal bioavailability and toxicity to highlight connections between the earth and biological sciences. Radioactive materials are beyond the scope of this chapter.

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Contents

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The Environmental Geochemistry of Mineral Deposits: Part A: Processes, Techniques, and Health Issues Part B: Case Studies and Research Topics

G.S. Plumlee
G.S. Plumlee
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M.J. Logsdon
M.J. Logsdon
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L.F. Filipek
L.F. Filipek
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Society of Economic Geologists
Volume
6
ISBN electronic:
9781629490137
Publication date:
January 01, 1997

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