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Environmental Hazards and Human Health


probability that something undesirable will happen as a consequence of exposure to a hazard


the likelihood that a possible future event will occur in any given instance of the event

Risk Assessment

evaluation of the short-term and long-term risks associated with a particular activity or hazard

Risk Management

the process of proactive and ongoing identification, analysis, and response to risk factors

Biological Hazards

Type of hazard that can infect humans from contact with over 1,400 different types of pathogens (bacteria, viruses, parasites, protozoa, and fungi)

Chemical Hazards

from harmful chemicals in air, water, soil, and food.

Physical Hazards

hazard such as fire, earthquake, volcanic eruption, flood, tornado, and hurricane

Cultural Hazards

hazard such as smoking, unsafe working conditions, poor diet, drugs, drinking, driving, criminal assaults, unsafe sex, and poverty.

Nontransmissable Disease

not caused by living organisms and does not spread from one person to another.

Infectious/transmissable Disease

In an infection, a pathogen in the form of a bacterium, virus, or parasite invades the body and multiplies its cells in the tissues


involves the deliberate release of disease-causing bacteria or virus into the air, water supply, or food supply of concentrated urcan populations.


A large scale outbreak of an infectious disease in an area or country


A large scale outbreak of an infectious disease that affects the entire planet


highly infectious respiratory disease caused by a virus, and is one of the world's biggest killers

Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)

a virus that attacks the human body's immune system and renders it incapable of fighting infectious and other diseases. The world's second biggest killer


Commonly known as "bird flu", and is a new avian strain of flu viruses genetically related to the 1918 killer strain emerged in Asia.

Hepatitis B Virus

virus that causes inflammation fo the liver, transmitted through any body fluid, including vaginal secretions, semen and blood. The third largest killer.

West Nile Virus

carried by a species of mosquito that affects people with weak immune systems.

Severe Acute Respiratory Virus

First appeared in China, and is spread easily from person to person, and quickly turned into life-threatening pneumonia


an infective disease caused by sporozoan parasites that are transmitted through the bite of an infected Anopheles mosquito

Oral Rehydration Therapy

A treatment involving administration of a salt and sugar solution to a child who is dehydrated from diarrhea

Ecological or Conservation Medicine

study that is devoted to tracking down the connections between wildlife and humans, and looking for ways to slow and prevent the spread of such disease

Nipah Virus

spread from pigs to their keepers, causing brain inflammation that killed 40% of the infected people

Toxic Chemicals

can cause temporary or permanent harm or death to humans or animals

Hazardous Chemical

can cause harm to human or other animals because it is flammable or explosive or it can irritate or damage the skin or lungs, interfere with oxygen uptake or induce allergic reactions.


chemicals or types of radiation that can cause or promote cancer


are chemicals that cause harm or birth defects to a fetus or embryo


toxins that can harm the human nervous system

Endocrine Disruptors

chemicals that disrupt normal hormone functions.


chemical "messengers" of the endocrine system that are released into the blood


process in which malignant cells break off from tumors and travel in bodily fluids to other parts of the body. Very harmful

Immune System

the cells, tissues, and organs that protect the body from disease.

Hormonally active agents

can disrupt the enocrine system, reproductive system or physical/ behavioral disorders.

Hormone Blockers

disrupt the endocrine system by preventing natural hormones from attatching to their receptors

Gender Benders

akin to hormone mimics, but they can disrupt sexual reproduction and development

Thyroid Disprptors

unnatural chemicals in the body that disrupt hormones resulting in growth, weight, brain, and behavioral disorders


Chemical building block in certain plastics used in a variety of products such as dental fillings, baby bottles, and beverage cans.


substance used in softeners or plasticizers, and in products with colyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastics and as solvents in many consumer products. May have harmful effects.

Methyl Isocyanate

an explosive gas used to produce carbamate pesticides.


the science that examines the effects of harmful chemicals on humans, wildlife, and ecosystems.


is a measure of how harmful a substance is causing injury, or death to a living organism


the amount of a substance a person has ingested, inhaled, or absorbed through the skin.

Genetic Makeup

determines an individual's sensitivity to a particular toxin

Multiple chemical sensitivity

a condition where an individual is sensitive to many toxins


ability of a substance to dissolve in another substance, such as sugar dissolving into water, also a measure of the amount of a substance that will dissolve in a certain colume of water

Water Soluble Toxins

(often inorganic compounds) can move throughout the environment and get into water supplies and the aqueous solutions that surrounds the cells in our body

Oil-or-fat soluble

(usually organic compounds) can penetrate the membranes surrounding cells because the membrances allow similar oil-soluble chemicals to pass through them.


a substances resistance to breakdown and tendancy of reapearing


in which some molecules are absorbed and stored in specific organs or tissue at higher than normal levels


a related factor in which levels of some potential toxins in the environment become magnified because they travel through the food chain. i.e: murcery

Antagonistic Interactions

can reduce harmful effects of toxins

Synergistic Interactions

multiplies the harmful effects of toxins


The type and amount of health that results from exposure to a chemical or other agent.

Acute Effect

an immideate or rapid harmful reaction to an exposure

Chronic Effect

a permanent or long lasting consequence from exposure to a single dose or to repeated lower doses of a harmful substance.


any substance that causes injury or illness or death of a living organism

Pollution prevention

The act of not releasing knowingly harmful chemicals into the environment

Precautionary Principal

When there is reasable but incomplete scientific evidence of significant harm to humans or the environment from a proposed or exixting chemical or technology, we should take action to prevent or reduce the risk instead of waiting for more conclusive evidence.

Persistant Organic Pollutants

a list of dirty pullutants that were banned all around, especially in the european union. The list includes DDT and eight other persistant organic pollutants.

Risk Analysis

Identify Risks, gauge probability, estimate impact, find strategy

Comparitive Risk Analysis

summarizing the greatest ecological and health risks identified by a panel of scientists acting as advisors of the EPA

Risk Communication

Informing the public about risks


World Health Organization


a federal agency in the Department of Health and Human Services


the environmental protection agency

Degree of Control

a greater force that causes us to demonstrate a certain level of control

Fear of the Unknown

The fear that most individuals have of new technology, getting older, or anything of the like


agents, such as chemicals or radiation, that damage or alter genetic material in cells

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