POPs Toolkit Glossary

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Absorbed DoseIn exposure assessment, the amount of a substance that penetrates an exposed organism's absorption barriers (e.g. skin, lung tissue, gastrointestinal tract) through physical or biological processes.
AbsorptionThe uptake of water, other fluids, or dissolved chemicals by a cell or an organism (as tree roots absorb dissolved nutrients in soil.)
Acceptable riskProbability of suffering disease or injury which is considered to be sufficiently small to be "negligible" (tolerable risk).
Accepted riskProbability of suffering disease or injury which is accepted by an individual.
Accidental exposureUnintended contact with a substance or change in the physical environment (including for example radiation) resulting from an accident
AccumulationSuccessive additions of a substance to a target organism, or organ, or to part of the environment, resulting in an increasing amount or concentration of the substance in the organism, organ, or environment.
AcuteShort-term, in relation to exposure or effect (as opposite to “chronic”. In clinical medicine, sudden and severe, having a rapid onset..
Acute effectEffect of short duration and occurring rapidly (usually in the first 24 h or up to 14 d) following a single dose or short exposure to a substance or radiation
Acute toxicityAbility of a substance to cause adverse effects within a short time of dosing or exposure (opposite to chronic toxicity).
Adverse effectChange in morphology, physiology, growth, development or lifespan of an organism which results in impairment of functional capacity or impairment of capacity to compensate for additional stress or increase in susceptibility to the harmful effects of other environmental influences.
Adverse Health EffectA change in morphology, physiology, growth, development or life span of an organism, which results in impairment of functional capacity or which increases susceptibility to the harmful effects of other environmental influences.
Age sensitivityQuantitative and qualitative age dependence of an effect .
AmbientSurrounding (applied to environmental media such as air, water, sediment or soil)
Ambient monitoringContinuous or repeated measurement of agents in the environment to evaluate ambient exposure and health risk by comparison with appropriate reference values based on knowledge of the probable relationship between exposure and resultant adverse health effects
AnalysisThe systematic application of specific theories and methods, including those from natural science, statistics, probability theory, social science, engineering, decision science, logic, mathematics, and law, for the purpose of collecting and interpreting data and drawing conclusions about phenomena.
Analytical ResultReport of data obtained from analysis, observation, or measurement.
AssayProcess of quantitative or qualitative analysis of a component of a sample or results of a quantitative or qualitative analysis of a component of a sample.
ATSDRAgency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry.
Hatfield Consultants The World Bank funded by the Canadian POPs Trust Fund through the      
Canadian International Development Agency
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