Environmental Health

Stylised blue-green photos of a monk, a pixellated dog, a close-up spore, a person on a hill, a toy robot and a banana wrapped in chains

This series will look at the changing ways we have understood the impact of the environment on us and on our health.

Over the last two decades the role our environment plays in shaping our vulnerabilities to the chronic diseases of age have begun to emerge, reflected by the development of the concept of the exposome. This is a big idea, some might argue too big and amorphous, but at its heart is the discipline of exposomics that attempts to capture the totality of exposures from a variety of external and internal sources including chemical agents, biological agents, or radiation, from conception onward, over a complete lifetime. In reality, it tends to focus on critical windows of development, such as early or late life, when our internal biological defence mechanisms are either not fully mature or are in decline.

This series will also look at air pollution and the biological barriers between us and the environment – our lungs, gut and skin.