Some Aspects of the Medical Geology of the Indian Subcontinent and Neighbouring Regions

Part of the International Year of Planet Earth book series (IYPE)


The tropical terrains of the Indian subcontinent and the neighbouring regions provide some of the best examples in medical geology where the impact of the geosphere on human health is markedly seen. The life styles of millions of people in these regions are such that there is a very close and intimate association between the rocks, minerals, soils, water and the human population. The case studies described in this chapter, as illustrated from India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Nepal, notably on fluorides, iodine deficiency disorders (IDD), arsenic pollution, selenium-based health issues among others, demonstrate this close geochemical interaction. The problem of contamination of groundwater by arsenic in Bangladesh and West Bengal, termed as one of the world’s largest environmental disasters, as discussed in this chapter typifies the dangers that could threaten countries and extremely large populations, when geochemistry of the environment and the associated medical geology are not properly understood and neglected. The negative impact of such gross neglect will be seen for many years to come and in Bangladesh and West Bengal for many future generations.


India Sri Lanka Pakistan Bangladesh Nepal Iodine Fluorine Arsenic Selenium Podoconiosis Radiation 


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Fundamental Studies (IFS)KandySri Lanka
  2. 2.Geological Survey of IndiaBandlagudaIndia
  3. 3.Department of GeologyUniversity of PeradeniyaPeradeniyaSri Lanka

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