Italy

Chapter Leader Dr. Prof. Saverio Fiore, saverio.fiore@cnr.it, Institute of Methodologies for Envi-ronmental Analysis CNR, 85050 Tito Scalo (PZ), Italy.

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 Va-lera) 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 IMGA Local Chapter in Italy was established in 2010

 

GEOMED 2011

The Italian Chapter is very active and has 10 members, all environmental scientists. The Chapter did an out-standing job of organising the 4th International Conference on Medical Geology GEOMED2011 in Bari, Italy, 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 prove-nance; mineral dissolution by lung fluids; experimental investigation on smectite and tremolite; kidney stones; influence of geological/environmental factors.