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Toxic Substances Glossary

superfund amendments and reauthorization act (sara)in 1986, sara amended the comprehensive environmental response, compensation, and liability act of 1980 (cercla) and expanded the health-related responsibilities of atsdr. cercla and sara direct atsdr...
background levelan average or expected amount of a substance or radioactive material in a specific environment, or typical amounts of substances that occur naturally in an environment.
minimal risk level (mrl)an atsdr estimate of daily human exposure to a hazardous substance at or below which that substance is unlikely to pose a measurable risk of harmful (adverse), noncancerous effects. mrls are calculate...
toxicological profilean atsdr document that examines, summarizes, and interprets information about a hazardous substance to determine harmful levels of exposure and associated health effects. a toxicological profile also ...
public health assessment (pha)an atsdr document that examines hazardous substances, health outcomes, and community concerns at a hazardous waste site to determine whether people could be harmed from coming into contact with those ...
plumea volume of a substance that moves from its source to places farther away from the source. plumes can be described by the volume of air or water they occupy and the direction they move. for example, a...
cas registry numbera unique number assigned to a substance or mixture by the american chemical society abstracts service [external link].
cancer riska theoretical risk for getting cancer if exposed to a substance every day for 70 years (a lifetime exposure). the true risk might be lower.
registrya systematic collection of information on persons exposed to a specific substance or having specific diseases [see exposure registry and disease registry].
disease registrya system of ongoing registration of all cases of a particular disease or health condition in a defined population.
exposure registrya system of ongoing followup of people who have had documented environmental exposures.
reference dose (rfd)an epa estimate, with uncertainty or safety factors built in, of the daily lifetime dose of a substance that is unlikely to cause harm in humans.
public availability sessionan informal, drop-by meeting at which community members can meet one-on-one with atsdr staff members to discuss health and site-related concerns.
public comment periodan opportunity for the public to comment on agency findings or proposed activities contained in draft reports or documents. the public comment period is a limited time period during which comments wil...
national priorities list for uncontrolled hazardous waste sites (national priorities list or npl)epa`s list of the most serious uncontrolled or abandoned hazardous waste sites in the united states. the npl is updated on a regular basis.
environmental media and transport mechanismenvironmental media include water, air, soil, and biota (plants and animals). transport mechanisms move contaminants from the source to points where human exposure can occur. the environmental media a...
acute exposurecontact with a substance that occurs once or for only a short time (up to 14 days) [compare with intermediate duration exposure and chronic exposure].
intermediate duration exposurecontact with a substance that occurs for more than 14 days and less than a year [compare with acute exposure and chronic exposure].
dermal contactcontact with (touching) the skin [see route of exposure].
toxic agentchemical or physical (for example, radiation, heat, cold, microwaves) agents that, under certain circumstances of exposure, can cause harmful effects to living organisms.
comparison value (cv)calculated concentration of a substance in air, water, food, or soil that is unlikely to cause harmful (adverse) health effects in exposed people. the cv is used as a screening level during the public...
metaboliteany product of metabolism.
radioisotopean unstable or radioactive isotope (form) of an element that can change into another element by giving off radiation.
mutagena substance that causes mutations (genetic damage).
teratogena substance that causes defects in development between conception and birth. a teratogen is a substance that causes a structural or functional birth defect.
biologic indicators of exposure studya study that uses (a) biomedical testing or (b) the measurement of a substance [an analyte], its metabolite, or another marker of exposure in human body fluids or tissues to confirm human exposure to ...
delayed health effecta disease or an injury that happens as a result of exposures that might have occurred in the past.
physiologically based pharmacokinetic model (pbpk model)a computer model that describes what happens to a chemical in the body. this model describes how the chemical gets into the body, where it goes in the body, how it is changed by the body, and how it l...
potentially responsible party (prp)a company, government, or person legally responsible for cleaning up the pollution at a hazardous waste site under superfund. there may be more than one prp for a particular site.
adverse health effecta change in body function or cell structure that might lead to disease or health problems
urgent public health hazarda category used in atsdr`s public health assessments for sites where short-term exposures (less than 1 year) to hazardous substances or conditions could result in harmful health effects that require r...
no apparent public health hazarda category used in atsdr`s public health assessments for sites where human exposure to contaminated media might be occurring, might have occurred in the past, or might occur in the future, but where t...
public health hazarda category used in atsdr`s public health assessments for sites that pose a public health hazard because of long-term exposures (greater than 1 year) to sufficiently high levels of hazardous substances...
no public health hazarda category used in atsdr`s public health assessment documents for sites where people have never and will never come into contact with harmful amounts of site-related substances.
synergistic effect1) a biologic response to multiple substances where one substance worsens the effect of another substance. the combined effect of the substances acting together is greater than the sum of the effects ...
синэргетический эффект;
antagonistic effect1) a biologic response to exposure to multiple substances that is less than would be expected if the known effects of the individual substances were added together [compare with additive effect and sy...
антагонистский эффект;
community assistance panel (cap)a group of people from a community and from health and environmental agencies who work with atsdr to resolve issues and problems related to hazardous substances in the community. cap members work with...
public health actiona list of steps to protect public health.
geographic information system (gis)a mapping system that uses computers to collect, store, manipulate, analyze, and display data. for example, gis can show the concentration of a contaminant within a community in relation to points of ...
analytic epidemiologic studya study that evaluates the association between exposure to hazardous substances and disease by testing scientific hypotheses.
case-control studya study that compares exposures of people who have a disease or condition (cases) with people who do not have the disease or condition (controls). exposures that are more common among the cases may be...
public health advisorya statement made by atsdr to epa or a state regulatory agency that a release of hazardous substances poses an immediate threat to human health. the advisory includes recommended measures to reduce exp...
medical monitoringa set of medical tests and physical exams specifically designed to evaluate whether an individual`s exposure could negatively affect that person`s health.
health consultationa review of available information or collection of new data to respond to a specific health question or request for information about a potential environmental hazard. health consultations are focused...
cluster investigationa review of an unusual number, real or perceived, of health events (for example, reports of cancer) grouped together in time and location. cluster investigations are designed to confirm case reports; ...
public meetinga public forum with community members for communication about a site.
substance-specific applied researcha program of research designed to fill important data needs for specific hazardous substances identified in atsdr`s toxicological profiles. filling these data needs would allow more accurate assessmen...
exposure-dose reconstructiona method of estimating the amount of people`s past exposure to hazardous substances. computer and approximation methods are used when past information is limited, not available, or missing.
case study1) a medical or epidemiologic evaluation of one person or a small group of people to gather information about specific health conditions and past exposures.
2) изучение отдельного случая, исследова...