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Environment and your health

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The Toxicology and Environmental Epidemiology Office can help you understand what chemicals are found in your environment and how they could impact your health and community.

Substances are all around us - in the food we eat, the air we breathe, and the water we drink. Toxic substances can impact your health, but whether they can harm you depends on:

  • What you’re exposed to.
  • How you’re exposed.
  • How much, how long, and how often you are exposed. 

Not all people have the same risk. Age, gender, genetics, lifestyle, and other factors also play a role in how exposure to a toxic substance impacts health.


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People come into contact with substances every day. Since you can’t remove all toxic substances from your environment, what can you do?

Learning more about toxic substances and ways to limit your exposure can help protect you and your community.



Environmental justice


Some people are at greater risk of health impacts from toxic substances than others. Communities of color, low-income individuals, and people who lack access to quality education and health care are at higher risk.

These groups are not only more likely to face immediate impacts of exposure. They may also experience cumulative impacts. This means they may have been exposed to multiple pollution sources over many years.

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