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Impact of Direct Soil Exposures from Airborne Dust and Geophagy on Human Health
Department of Human Genetics, University of Michigan Medical School, 1241 E. Catherine Street, 5928 Buhl Building, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-5618, USA
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 10 February 2010; in revised form: 3 March 2010 / Accepted: 16 March 2010 / Published: 19 March 2010
Abstract: Over evolutionary time humans have developed a complex biological relationship with soils. Here we describe modes of soil exposure and their biological implications. We consider two types of soil exposure, the first being the continuous exposure to airborne soil, and the second being dietary ingestion of soils, or geophagy. It may be assumed that airborne dust and ingestion of soil have influenced the evolution of particular DNA sequences which control biological systems that enable individual organisms to take advantage of, adapt to and/or protect against exposures to soil materials. We review the potential for soil exposure as an environmental source of epigenetic signals which may influence the function of our genome in determining health and disease.
Keywords: soil; dust; geophagy; microbiome; genetics; epigenetics
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Cite This Article
MDPI and ACS Style
Sing, D.; Sing, C.F. Impact of Direct Soil Exposures from Airborne Dust and Geophagy on Human Health. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2010, 7, 1205-1223.
Sing D, Sing CF. Impact of Direct Soil Exposures from Airborne Dust and Geophagy on Human Health. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2010; 7(3):1205-1223.
Sing, David; Sing, Charles F. 2010. "Impact of Direct Soil Exposures from Airborne Dust and Geophagy on Human Health." Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 7, no. 3: 1205-1223.