Acta Geochimica

, Volume 39, Issue 1, pp 155–159 | Cite as

Guizhou Province, China: the birthplace of modern Medical Geology

  • Robert B. FinkelmanEmail author
  • Jose A. Centeno
Original Article


Medical Geology, the emerging discipline that focuses on the health impacts of geologic materials and geologic processes, has its roots in Guizhou Province, China. In the 1980s Prof. Zheng Baoshan and his students recognized that a large number of people in Guizhou Province had clinical symptoms of arsenic poisoning, fluorine exposure, selenosis, and other diseases caused by exposure to potentially toxic trace elements or due to deficiency of essential elements. Their publications and invitations to scientists to visit the Province ultimately resulted in increased attention to the health impacts of the natural environment and the formation of scientific societies, the publication of at least a dozen books, and thousands of technical articles on what is now called Medical Geology.


Coal Fluorosis Arsenic poisoning Selenosis Health impacts Environmental health 



Several of Prof. Zheng Baoshan’s students made significant contributions to the early Medical Geology work in Guizhou Province. These include Dr. Li Shehong, Dr. Shao Shuxun, and Dr. Wang Binbin.


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Copyright information

© Science Press and Institute of Geochemistry, CAS and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Texas at DallasRichardsonUSA
  2. 2.International Medical Geology AssociationGaithersburgUSA

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