Skip directly to search Skip directly to A to Z list Skip directly to navigation Skip directly to site content Skip directly to page options

7.0 Conclusions

Historical Document

This Web site is provided by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) ONLY as an historical reference for the public health community. It is no longer being maintained and the data it contains may no longer be current and/or accurate.

In summary, the panelists reached the following conclusions and recommendations.

  • Soil-pica is the repeated consumption of soil (either intentional or unintentional) and geophagy is the intentional ingestion of earths that is usually associated with cultural practices.
  • Soil-pica behavior exists. ATSDR should evaluate the public health significance of all types of soil ingestion, including soil-pica.
  • Groups at risk of soil-pica behavior include children aged 6 years and younger as well as developmentally delayed individuals.
  • For now ATSDR should use 5,000 mg as an estimate of soil intake for children with soil-pica behavior.
  • Geophagy typically involves consumption of clay from known (and usually uncontaminated) sources at depth rather than consumption of surface soil from residential properties. ATSDR should investigate geophagy when the agency identifies this practice in a community.
  • ATSDR should conduct a multicomponent investigation into soil-pica behavior.

Contact Us:
  • Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry
    4770 Buford Hwy NE
    Atlanta, GA 30341-3717 USA
  • 800-CDC-INFO
    TTY: (888) 232-6348
    Email CDC-INFO
  • New Hours of Operation
    8am-8pm ET/Monday-Friday
    Closed Holidays The U.S. Government's Official Web PortalDepartment of Health and Human Services
Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, 4770 Buford Hwy NE, Atlanta, GA 30341
Contact CDC: 800-232-4636 / TTY: 888-232-6348

A-Z Index

  1. A
  2. B
  3. C
  4. D
  5. E
  6. F
  7. G
  8. H
  9. I
  10. J
  11. K
  12. L
  13. M
  14. N
  15. O
  16. P
  17. Q
  18. R
  19. S
  20. T
  21. U
  22. V
  23. W
  24. X
  25. Y
  26. Z
  27. #