On completion of the course, the student should be able to:
account for how elements occur naturally in the geological background
describe how the occurrence of trace elements in water, soil and food can be influenced by the geological environment
explain how trace elements move from the bedrock to the soil and further to water and food
account for how trace elements are taken up in organisms (humans and animals)
account for the functions of essential trace elements and which consequences a deficiency or an excess have for health
relate the risks of exposure for trace elements in our environment to other health risks e.g. smoking
assess risks with exposure for trace elements in the environment and be able to discuss measures to minimise or eliminate these
Natural distribution and occurrence of elements. Anthropogenic sources. GIS as a tool in studies of the health of humans. Uptake of elements, particularly trace elements from the food to humans. Biological response on elements, particularly trace elements. Geological aspects on the nutrient supply. Biological response on elements, particularly trace elements. Animal and medical geology. Aspects on uptake of elements, particularly trace elements, in animals. Uptake of elements, particularly trace elements, and toxicological consequences of uptake of both essential and non-essential trace elements. Transport of elements in air with a focus on volcanic activity, radon problems and natural aerosols of dam and health effects. Transport of elements in water with a focus on arsenic, fluor and hardness of water and health effects. Environmental epidemiology with special consideration to experimental framework, exposure assessment, bias and confounding factors. Transport of elements in water and the importance of speciation and the special requirements it has on sampling, preparation and analysis. Environmental medicine in relation to the natural environmental influence on human health. Which measures can be taken to avoid negative influence. Risk assessment of exposure for trace elements in the environment. Relationship between the risks with exposure for trace element in our environment and other health risks, e.g. smoking.
The teaching is given as lectures, discussions and group assignment.
After the first half of the course a written subtest (3.5 credits) is conducted. In the later part of the course, the group assignment is presented orally and in writing (3 credits) and the course is completed with a written subtest (3.5 credits). In order to get the grade Pass, the compulsory course parts must have been passed.
If there are special reasons for doing so, an examiner may make an exception from the method of assessment indicated and allow a student to be assessed by another method. An example of special reasons might be a certificate regarding special pedagogical support from the disability coordinator of the university.