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Natural Science and Public Health: Prescription for a Better Environment

Health problems caused by environmental contamination and emerging infectious diseases are a growing concern worldwide. With a global population that is rapidly expanding, increasingly mobile, and moving into previously undeveloped areas, we can expect this trend to continue. To effectively deal with these threats to human health we must recognize them early. Often the landscape or the wildlife gives us our first "warnings."

Because understanding environmental health is a prerequisite to protecting human health, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) is hosting Natural Science and Public Health: Prescription for a Better Environment. This conference will bring together public health experts and earth scientists to discuss the emerging discipline of Medical Geology. The conference will feature welcoming remarks by Dr. Charles (Chip) Groat, Director, USGS; and a keynote address by Representative Ralph Regula, Chairman, Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies, House Appropriations Committee. Agenda of the April 1-3 conference is available on: http://health.usgs.gov/health2003.html. Some of the emerging topics are:

Emerging Sensor Technologies to Keep Water Supplies Safe: To address growing concern about the security of the nation's drinking water supplies, scientists and engineers from the USGS, USEPA, Rutgers University, and the New Jersey Department of Natural Resources are developing a prototype real-time early-warning network to monitor the quality of drinking water from accidental or intentional contamination. By upgrading current water quality monitoring stations with new sensor technologies as they become available, by adding new stations at key locations, and by linking the network to satellites, the team intends to make data on a wide range of contaminants available to water-supply managers.

Dust from Africa: Each year, mill
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Contact: Carolyn Bell
cbell@usgs.gov
703-648-4463
United States Geological Survey
27-Mar-2003


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