Chapter Leader: Prof. Saverio Fiore, Institute of Methodologies for Environmental Analysis-CNR, 85050 Tito Scalo (PZ), Italy; Adjunct Professor of Mineralogy, University of Basilicata
The IMGA Local Chapter in Italy was established in 2010.
6-month report from Local Chapter Leader Dr Saverio Fiore: No report this time. Chapter currently under reorganisation.
Members of the Italian Chapter of IMGA were involved in the organization of the 1st International Conference on Atmospheric DUST, held in June in Italy. The Conference was endorsed by the IMGA and there were several sessions related to the Medical Geology. Details on DUST 2014 are reported as a separate full report on the IMGA website.
During last months, the group continued carried out researches on experimental dissolution of asbestos fibres and on the influence on potentially dangerous and toxic elements on the environment.
Members are also involved in the editorial work related to the publication of the conference proceedings.
Presently many members of the Italian Chapter are involved in the organization of another conference: AMAM 2015, the 1st International Conference on Applied Mineralogy and Advanced Materials (AMAM 2015; www.amam2015.org).
See the Members Section of the website for some additonal reporting.
The group has identified several health risk factors connected to geology in Southern Italy, including potential natural metal contamination of spring waters and naturally occurring asbestos and its connection with some cases of mesothelioma occurring amongst people living in some areas of the Pollino massif.
This research group also performed laboratory and bench scale experiments providing interesting results about the immobilization of toxic elements using zeolite synthesized directly in polluted soil under conditions as close to the natural ones as possible.
Andrea Masotti, is involved in a team project related to arsenic contamination and its effect on human health with special emphasis to polymorphisms of genes involved in the metabolism of inorganic arsenic in a paediat-ric population. He also edited a book on this subject (Arsenic: Sources, Environmental Impact, Toxicity and Human Health - A Medical Geology Perspective, Nova Science Pub.) describing the several steps from arsenic speciation in rocks, water and environment in general, through the contamination of rice-based foods in infants diet, up to the devastating effects on human health.
The study of the environmental influence on the geographical distribution of urinary stones in Basilicata re-gion, led by one of our members Maria Luigia Giannossi, won a 2012 national prize, sponsored by the regional government, as the best Ph.D. thesis.
A meeting about the role of Medical Geology in Italy was organized by a member of the Chapter (Paolo Valera) to promote the importance of this new discipline that uses an interdisciplinary approach to solve problems related to environment and human health. More than 150 attendees took part in the Conference. All the research results were published in international publications.
In 2012 the members of the Chapter participated in the following Conferences presenting their research:
- Sino-European Symposium on Environment and Health (SESEH 2012), 20-25 August, Galway, Ireland;
- 9th International Symposium on Environmental Geochemistry, 15th– 21th July, Aveiro, Portugal;
- The 2nd International Conference on Competitive Materials and Technology Processes, 8-12 October, Mi-skolc-Lillafured, Hungary;
- 6th Mid-European Clay Conference – MECC 2012, September 4 - 9, 2012 in Pruhonice, Czech Republic;
- EMC2012-European Mineralogical Conference, 2-6 September 2012, Frankfurt, Germany.
The Italian Chapter is very active and has 10 members, all environmental scientists. The Chapter did an outstanding job of organising the 4th International Conference on Medical Geology GEOMED2011 in Bari, Italy, in September 2011. The members of this Chapter are also involved in the following Medical Geology projects: risk evaluation of naturally occurring asbestos (NOA); airborne particles; natural vs. anthropogenic provenance; mineral dissolution by lung fluids; experimental investigation on smectite and tremolite; kidney stones; influence of geological/environmental factors.