Dr B. J. Alloway drew attention to the fact that relationships between geochemistry and health could be somewhat obscured by relatively widespread, but low level pollution from the disposal of sewage sludge on land. Although the total concentrations of metals such as cadmium, lead and other elements may not be very high, it is possible that these elements may be more available to crops than those occurring in geochemical anomalies. This should be borne in mind when comparing the analysis of top soils with medical data.
Dr S. H. U. Bowie said:
1. Participants in this symposium might be interested to know that the Royal Society has recently set up a Working Party on Environmental Geochemistry and Health under my chairmanship. Details of membership can be had from Dr Iain Thornton, and anyone interested in having any aspect of the subject raised should do so through the appropriate member.
2. The Royal Society has just published the proceedings of a discussion meeting entitled ‘Environmental Geochemistry and Health’ and this is recommended as a scene-setting volume covering geochemistry and the health of man, animals and plants.
3. The Working Party is in contact with national co-ordinating committees in the USA and USSR and with individuals elsewhere. We would welcome exchange arrangements with responsible committees in other countries and look forward to collaboration with the Academies of Science in the 5 Scandinavian countries through their representative.
4. Anyone doing research in the field of environmental geochemistry and health is asked to contact