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Increasing concern regarding the effects of the geochemical environment on health in the United States has fostered research studies in a number of universities and government agencies. The necessity to evaluate the effects of natural and man-made elemental excesses in the environment on health requires the establishment of requirements and tolerance limits for the various elements in water and crops. Maps of the geographic distribution of these elements in rocks, surficial materials and ground and surface waters are also essential for comparison with the occurrence of disease. Funding support for research projects that relate to various parameters of these problems emanates largely from a few federal agencies, and much of the work is conducted at government, university and private facilities. An example of the latter is the National Academy of Sciences-National Research Council, which has several components that are addressing a variety of comparative studies of the geochemical environment related to health; studies involve specific trace elements (like selenium and magnesium), diseases (like cancer, urolithiasis and cardiovascular disease), other health factors (like aging and nutrition) and links with timely major problems (like the health effects of greatly increasing the use of coal). ?? 1979.
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Research in the United States relative to geochemistry and health