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It has long been recognised that our health and well being is strongly dependent upon the environment to which we are exposed. The air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat and the things we touch all affect the way we think, feel, behave and live.

The modern environment can be exciting and vibrant, but there are many hazards and risks. Climate change, for example, is likely to pose a significant challenge to our health by putting increased pressure upon resources and people during the rest of the century.

The Health Protection Agency is an independent source of expert advice on environmental public health issues. Through informing policy and legislation development the agency helps to protect people from environmental hazards such as contaminated land, air or water pollution as well as considering the impacts of climate change on public health.

The HPA works with a number of organisations, including the Environment Agency, Food Standards Agency, Local Authorities, Department of Health, Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs, and the Welsh Assembly Government to ensure that the health of the public is protected as far as possible against any existing and potential environmental threats.

This section breaks down and describes the work of the HPA.