Geology and health: A brief history from the Pleistocene to today
Published:September 01, 2013
Syed E. Hasan, Robert B. Finkelman, H. Catherine W. Skinner, 2013. "Geology and health: A brief history from the Pleistocene to today", The Impact of the Geological Sciences on Society, Marion E. Bickford
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This paper provides a brief historic overview of the relationship between geology and human health, recognizing the use of geologic materials by the earliest humans, through the ancient civilizations to the present. It also includes a survey of contributions by physicians in Europe and the United States during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, followed by the developments in the twentieth century, particularly the post–World War II period, when the relationships between geology and health began to be actively investigated. The rapid evolution during the 1990s and the initiative and support of the International Union of Geological Sciences that culminated in the establishment of the International Medical Geology Association in 2005, and the Division of Geology and Health of the Geological Society of America in the United States in 2007, are discussed. Current status and future prospects of geology and health are highlighted.