POPs Toolkit Glossary


Calibration1) A comparison of a measurement standard, instrument, or item with a standard or instrument of higher accuracy to detect and quantify inaccuracies and to report or eliminate those inaccuracies by adjustments. 2) Process of adjusting an instrument’s read out so that it corresponds to actual concentrations. It involves checking the instrument with a known concentration of a surrogate to insure that the instrument provides a proper response.
CappingThe covering of contaminated material (usually soil or sediments) with a layer of clean material (e.g., clean soils or sediments, asphalt or concrete). Capping of contaminated material reduces the probability of exposure to humans or animals.
CarcinogenAny substance that can cause or aggravate cancer.
CAS Registration NumberA number assigned by the Chemical Abstract Service to identify a chemical.
Case StudyA brief fact sheet providing risk, cost, and performance information on alternative methods and other pollution prevention ideas, compliance initiatives, voluntary efforts, etc.
CCMECanadian Council of Ministers of the Environment.
Chain of custodyA method and record used for documenting the history and sequential possession of a sample from the time of collection or generation through analysis and data reporting. This term is also used in controlled sequence of responsibility for a substance from the manufacturer to the distributor, to the user, or to the person(s) ultimately responsible for waste disposal.
Chlorinated Hydrocarbons1. Chemicals containing only chlorine, carbon, and hydrogen. These include a class of persistent, broad-spectrum insecticides that linger in the environment and accumulate in the food chain. Among them are DDT, aldrin, dieldrin, heptachlor, chlordane, lindane, endrin, Mirex, hexachloride, and toxaphene. Other examples include TCE, used as an industrial solvent. 2. Any chlorinated organic compounds including chlorinated solvents such as dichloromethane, trichloromethylene, chloroform.
Chronic EffectAn adverse effect on a human or animal in which symptoms recur frequently or develop slowly over a long period of time.
Chronic ExposureMultiple exposures occurring over an extended period of time or over a significant fraction of an animal's or human's lifetime (Usually seven years to a lifetime.)
Chronic ToxicityThe capacity of a substance to cause long-term poisonous health effects in humans, animals, fish, and other organisms.
CIDACanadian International Development Agency.
CommercialRefers to lands used for light industry, trade and business (e.g., markets, stores, offices etc.).
Comparability A measure of the confidence with which one data set or method can be compared to another.
Composite SampleA non-discrete sample composed of more than one specific aliquot collected at various sampling points or times.
Conservative assessment of riskAssessment of risk which assumes the worst possible case scenario and therefore gives the highest possible value for risk: risk management decisions based on this value will maximize safety.
ContaminantsAny physical, chemical, biological, or radiological substance or matter that has an adverse effect on air, water, or soil, and detrimental to human health.
ContaminationIntroduction into water, air, and soil of microorganisms, chemicals, toxic substances, wastes, or wastewater in a concentration that makes the medium unfit for its next intended use. Also applies to surfaces of objects, buildings, and various household and agricultural use products.
COPC (Contaminant of potential concern)Specific chemicals that are identified for evaluation in a risk assessment problem formulation.
Critical end-pointToxic effect used by the USEPA as the basis for a reference dose (Term used for an estimate (with uncertainty spanning perhaps an order of magnitude) of a daily exposure to the human population (including sensitive subgroups) that is likely to be without appreciable risk of deleterious effects during a lifetime)
Critical period (of development)Stage of development of an organism that is of particular importance in the life cycle if the normal full development of some anatomical, physiological, metabolic, or psychological structure or function is to be attained: such a period may be associated with very high susceptibility to specific potentially toxic substances..
CSF (Cancer Slope Factor)Factor multiplied to the calculated dose to estimate the incremental lifetime cancer risk. A US EPA term, similar to the Canadian slope factor for carcinogenic potency (SF).
Cultural ConsiderationsWays in which traditions, values, practices and other characteristics of groups within society may affect or be affected by health risks and approaches to risk management.
Culture of RiskSpecific values and norms that are shared by people and groups in an organization and that control the way they uphold need to make risk awareness part of the day-to-day frameworks of understanding and practice applied by policy makers.
Hatfield Consultants The World Bank funded by the Canadian POPs Trust Fund through the      
Canadian International Development Agency
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