Authors: Tsutomu Ohno & Ganga M. Hettiarachchi
Population growth and technical and social changes have always exerted pressure on environmental quality. However, we are experiencing unprecedented change in the rate and scale of human impacts on the environment. The One Health Initiative recognizes that improving the quality of life for humans and other animal species requires a holistic and integrated framework to seek multidisciplinary solutions to global environmental quality challenges. This special section is designed to elucidate the connections among soil health, environmental quality, food safety and security, and human health. Soil chemistry is defined as the field of soil science that deals with the chemical constituents, properties, and reactions of soils. Soil chemistry plays a central role in food production and the protection of human health. Chemical reactions between nutrients or contaminants and soil solids, and the composition of the soil solution and the atmosphere, influence crop growth as well as the quality of our food, air, and water. This collection of nine papers brings together studies that highlight how soil chemical constituents, properties, and reactions can be examined or managed using a multidisciplinary approach to move toward a more efficient, sustainable, nutrient-rich, and low-contaminant food production system that affords protection of soil, water, and human and animal health. We believe that studies such as these are needed to maintain and enhance environmental quality through interdisciplinary scientific approaches for human, animal, and environmental health outcomes.