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A person's surroundings or the conditions where he or she works, or lives is sometimes called their "environment". Essentially, the environment is everything around us - including food we eat; air we breathe (indoor and outdoor); water we use for drinking, cooking, bathing, swimming, etc.; where we live, work and play; our natural surroundings (e.g., recreational areas, parks, wilderness).

Environmental exposures include the physical elements or chemical substances that people encounter in their daily lives, at different levels or amounts. It is important to identify the environmental exposures that can potentially affect health negatively. One example of environmental exposure is sunlight. While some sunlight is necessary for our health, too much sunlight over many years can result in skin cancer. This section covers different types of environmental exposures and how those exposures may impact health.

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