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Trace Metals and Infectious Diseases$
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Jerome O. Nriagu and Eric P. Skaar

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780262029193

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262029193.001.0001

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New Technologies Using Trace Metals of Concern

New Technologies Using Trace Metals of Concern

Chapter:
(p.239) 15 New Technologies Using Trace Metals of Concern
Source:
Trace Metals and Infectious Diseases
Author(s):

Jozef M. Pacyna

Kyrre Sundseth

Elisabeth G. Pacyna

Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:10.7551/mitpress/9780262029193.003.0015

This chapter discusses the occurrence, material flows, technical applications of and pollution by platinum, palladium), thallium, rare earth elements, gold, silver, and antimony, all of which are essential for global economic growth. Modern technology relies on these chemicals for the production of various industrial goods. However, their use releases pollutants into the environment, thus posing a threat to human health. The impacts of these chemicals on human health are assessed in the context of their linkage to infectious diseases. The consequent environmental damage and political and economic implications of using these chemicals are also discussed. To reduce environmental emissions and impacts to human health, more efficient cost-effective approaches are needed in mining and production processes. It is suggested that recycling and waste management can be improved significantly in many regions of the world to lessen the environmental impact of using these metals while contributing to a better economic situation. Information on the potential impacts that REEs and technologies using these metals have on infectious diseases is largely missing in the literature. This information gap needs to be closed through forthcoming research.

Keywords:   human health, infectious diseases, environmental pollutants, industrial processes, recycling and waste management

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