POPs Toolkit Glossary


Background SamplesSamples that are collected and used to compare site conditions to the surrounding environment. Background samples are collected and handled in the same manner as all other samples.
Baseline ReviewStep 1 of an overall Risk Management Decision-Making Process. Its objective is to develop a detailed situation analysis/needs assessment within which the actual or potential problem posed by the chemical substance in the country can be identified; including an evaluation of risks to health and/or the environment. The suggested output is a refined situation and problem statement.
BCRBenefit Cost Ratio – the ratio of the Present Value of the Benefit to the Present Value of the Cost. BCR is a measure of relative feasibility. If BCR >1, the project is viable
Benefit TransferA practice used to estimate economic values for ecosystem services by transferring information available from studies already completed in one location or context to another. This can be done as a unit value transfer or a function transfer.
BioaccumulantsSubstances that increase in concentration in living organisms as they take in contaminated air, water, or food because the substances are very slowly metabolized or excreted
BioaccumulationProgressive increase in the amount of a substance in an organism or part of an organism which occurs because the rate of intake exceeds the organism's ability to remove the substance from the body.
Bioaccumulation potentialAbility of living organisms to concentrate a substance obtained either directly from the environment or indirectly through its food.
BioassayProcedure for estimating the concentration or biological activity of a substance (vitamin, hormone, plant growth factor, antibiotic etc.) by measuring its effect on an organism compared to an appropriate standard preparation.
BioavailabilityDegree of ability to be absorbed and ready to interact in organism metabolism.
BioconcentrationThe accumulation of a chemical in tissues of a fish or other organism to levels greater than in the surrounding medium.
BiodegradableCapable of decomposing under natural conditions.
BiomagnificationRefers to the process whereby certain substances such as pesticides or heavy metals move up the food chain, work their way into rivers or lakes, and are eaten by aquatic organisms such as fish, which in turn are eaten by large birds, animals or humans. The substances become concentrated in tissues or internal organs as they move up the chain.
BlankA sample subjected to the usual analytical or measurement process to establish a zero baseline or background value. Sometimes used to adjust or correct routine analytical results. A sample that is intended to contain none of the analytes of interest. A blank is used to detect contamination during sample handling preparation and/or analysis.
Blind SamplesA quality assurance sample in which the laboratory performing the analysis is unaware of the sample’s true location this sample is collected a duplicate.
Hatfield Consultants The World Bank funded by the Canadian POPs Trust Fund through the      
Canadian International Development Agency
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