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Risk assessment

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


the quantity of an active agent (substance or radiation) taken in or absorbed at any one time. How Much will affect or hurt you.

cultural hazards

hazards that result from the place we live, or socioeconomic status, our occupation, or or behavioral choices. Also can be personal choice such as smoking

water soluble toxins

these can dissolve in water. can move throughout the environment and get into water supplies, leading to contamination. EX: ice melter and Road salt can contaminate drinking water.


the build up of a substance (usually a toxin) as it passes through a food chain. DDT in Bald eagles after eating fish with lower ppm.

synergistic interactions

occur two or more drugs used same time, results are greater than the sum of the actions of the drugs used. when together, the potency is dramatically increased.

acute affects

sudden, severe effects. This can be a problem when they happen so fast that they can cause serious condition without warning.

chronic affects

Long level exposure to low levels of a toxin. Chronic inhalation of radon can cause cancer.

Trace levels

A component, such as a chemical compound or element, present in quantities less than a standard limit. "She detected high levels of lead in her drinking water"; "We found traces of lead in the paint"


a poison that can harm an organism. Ex. Carbon Monoxide


Median Lethal Dose Sig: the amount of a chemical that kills 50% of the animals in a test population.


the branch of medical science dealing with the transmission and control of disease. Epidemic = a widespread occurrence of an infectious disease in a community

dose response curve

a graph that shows the effect of different doses on a population of test organisms., usually has the behavioral change vs. dose size.

threshold level

The point where a specific chemical becomes hazardous to humans or other animals. This helps to know how much toxin is OK to ingest before harm is done.


any agent (physical or environmental) that can induce a genetic mutation or can increase the rate of mutation. Ex. Carcinogen, Radon or asbestus


Substance that can produce developmental malformations (birth defects) during the prenatal period. Ex. Alcohol can produce fetal alcohol syndrome.


any substance that produces cancer. Ex. Asbestos

Hazardous Chemical

Chemical that can cause harm because it is flammable or explosive, can irritate or damage the skin or lungs, or can cause allergic reactions of the immune system (allergens). Also the HC, you see on the Highway is the route for Hazardous Cargo.


substance poisonous to nervous tissue; botulism,tetanus, venoms, Lead or Mercury


chemical "messengers" of the endocrine system that are released into the blood. Testosterone, or Estrogen. Sometimes pesticides can block male hormones. These also increase desire for reproduction.

immune system

a system that protects the body from foreign substances and pathogenic (disease) organisms by producing the immune response. Ex. the thymus and bone marrow and lymphoid tissues

hormone mimics

Hormones lookalikes. They attach themselves to estrogen receptor molecules and disrupt the endocrine system. Can also be called endocrine disruptors. Ex. Dioxins, and various relatives of DDT.

endocrine system

the system of glands that produce endocrine secretions that help to control bodily metabolic activity. Mainly controlled by in Thyroid.

Persistent organic pollutants

Synthetic carbon-based compounds that do not easily break down in the environment. Ex. Chlorine

Transmissible disease

infectious disease that can be transmitted from one person to another (sometimes sexually or blood transfusion). ex: flu, HIV, tuberculosis,

Non transmissible disease

Disease that is not caused by living organisms and does not spread from one person to another. Ex. diabetes, schizophrenia (unless you have a beautiful that case it is really easy to contract it)


an organism that lives in or on another organism, deriving nourishment at the expense of its host, usually without killing it. Ex. Tick


sexually transmitted disease. Ex. HIV/AIDS


Auto Immune Deficiency Syndrome. Infection caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) that attacks and destroys the immune system.


an infective disease caused by parasites that are transmitted through the bite of an infected mosquito (Anopheles). One of DDT's uses was to wipe out this problem in the USA.


overfatness to the point of injuring health. Obesity is often defined as 20 percent or more above the appropriate weight for height. It is estimated by 2050, over half of the USA will be obese. :(

Tobacco use

Constricts blood vessels, lesss oxygen, and raises blood pressure. Can cause Cancer (probably will)


a soft heavy toxic malleable metallic element that interferes with the nervous system and can cause permanent behavior disorders. Lead poisoning is also known as plumbism, colica Pictonum, saturnism, Devon colic, or painter's colic. But that Lead really takes the "knock" out of that oldsmobile! Shame, thay had to take that one out aint it Pops?


Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane, a chlorinated hydrocarbon that has been widely used as an insecticide but is now banned in some countries., an insecticide that is also toxic to animals and humans. banned in the US since 1972.


polycholorinated biphenyls. This is often found in animal feed and should be avoided during pregnancy. It suppresses the immune system, and can cause cancer in humans.


Bisphenol A (BPA) is a chemical building block that is used primarily to make polycarbonate plastic and epoxy resins. Polycarbonate plastic is a lightweight, high-performance plastic that possesses a unique balance of toughness and optical clarity. It is classified as endocrine disruptors, which alter the function of the endocrine system by mimicking the role of the body's natural hormones. It has aslo been shown to affect reproduction and brain development in animal studies.


a synthetic compound derived from triazine that is widely used as an agricultural herbicide. Possibly a carcinogen


a radioactive gaseous element formed by the disintegration of radium. It is an odorless and tasteless gas and with long term exposure may cause lung cancer.


a heavy silvery toxic element that is liquid at room temp. Acute mercury poisoning causes a metallic taste and vomiting, diarrhea and kidney problems that may lead to death. Also can cause nervous system problems.

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