POPs Toolkit Glossary


HabitatThe place where a population (e.g. human, animal, plant, microorganism) lives and its surroundings, both living and non-living.
Half-Life1. The time required for a pollutant to lose one-half of its original concentration, for example, the biochemical half-life of DDT in the environment is 15 years. 2. The time required for the elimination of half a total dose from the body.
HalogenA type of incandescent lamp with higher energy-efficiency that standard ones.
Handling TimeAll trip blanks, field blanks, and environmental sample containers must be received in the field within one day of preparation in the lab. They may be held on site for a maximum of two calendar days. They must then be shipped to the lab at the end of the field sampling. All samples and blanks must be maintained at 4øC while on site and during shipment.
Harmful occupational factorComponent of the work environment the effect of which on a worker under certain conditions leads to ill health or reduction of working ability.
Harmful occupational factorComponent of the work environment the effect of which on a worker under certain conditions leads to ill health or reduction of working ability.
Harmful substanceSubstance that, following contact with an organism can cause ill health or adverse effects either at the time of exposure or later in the life of the present and future generations.
Harmful substanceSubstance that, following contact with an organism can cause ill health or adverse effects either at the time of exposure or later in the life of the present and future generations.
Hazard1. Potential for radiation, a chemical or other pollutant to cause human illness or injury. 2. In the pesticide program, the inherent toxicity of a compound. Hazard identification of a given substances is an informed judgment based on verifiable toxicity data from animal models or human studies.
Hazard AssessmentEvaluating the effects of a stressor or determining a margin of safety for an organism by comparing the concentration which causes toxic effects with an estimate of exposure to the organism.
Hazard Communication StandardAn OSHA regulation that requires chemical manufacturers, suppliers, and importers to assess the hazards of the chemicals that they make, supply, or import, and to inform employers, customers, and workers of these hazards through MSDS information.
Hazard EvaluationA component of risk evaluation that involves gathering and evaluating data on the types of health injuries or diseases that may be produced by a chemical and on the conditions of exposure under which such health effects are produced.
Hazard IdentificationDetermining if a chemical or a microbe can cause adverse health effects in humans and what those effects might be.
Hazard QuotientThe ratio of estimated site-specific exposure to a single chemical from a site over a specified period to the estimated daily exposure level, at which no adverse health effects are likely to occur.
Hazard RatioA term used to compare an animal's daily dietary intake of a pesticide to its LD 50 value. A ratio greater than 1.0 indicates that the animal is likely to consume a dose amount which would kill 50 percent of animals of the same species.
Hazardous ChemicalAn EPA designation for any hazardous material requiring an MSDS under OSHA's Hazard Communication Standard. Such substances are capable of producing fires and explosions or adverse health effects like cancer and dermatitis. Hazardous chemicals are distinct from hazardous waste.
Hazardous Substance1. Any material that poses a threat to human health and/or the environment. Typical hazardous substances are toxic, corrosive, ignitable, explosive, or chemically reactive. 2. Any substance designated by EPA to be reported if a designated quantity of the substance is spilled in the waters of the United States or is otherwise released into the environment.
Hazardous WasteBy-products of society that can pose a substantial or potential hazard to human health or the environment when improperly managed. Possesses at least one of four characteristics (ignitability, corrosivity, reactivity, or toxicity), or appears on special EPA lists.
HealthState of complete physical, mental and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity (WHO, 1978b), or state characterized by anatomical, physiological and psychological integrity, ability to perform personally valued family, work and community roles; ability to deal with physical, biological, psychological and social stress; a feeling of wellbeing; and freedom from the risk of disease and untimely death (Last, 1988).
Health MonitoringThe repetitive and continued observation, measurement and evaluation of an activity, output or outcome to detect changes in human health or the environment over a period of time.
Health Risk CommunicationRisk communication includes all exchanges among interested parties (individuals, social groups, industry, and governments) about health and environmental concerns. Any interested party may initiate activities in this area. Engaging in such activities brings with it some corresponding responsibilities for all parties. However, it is industry and governments, which have an explicit duty to engage in good risk communication practices in a timely fashion. This duty derives from their associated responsibility to manage risks in the public interest. The ultimate goal of risk communication is to assist stakeholders (public, private or community) in understanding the rationale behind a risk-based decision, so that they may arrive at a balanced judgement that reflects the factual evidence about the matter at hand, in relation to their own interests and values.
HI (Hazard Index)The sum of more than one hazard quotient for multiple substances and/or multiple exposure pathways. The HI is calculated separately for chronic, sub chronic and acute exposures.
Holding timeThe period of time a sample may be stored prior to its required analysis. While exceeding the holding time does not necessarily negate the veracity of analytical results, it causes the qualifying or “flagging” of any data not meeting all of the specified acceptance criteria.
HomogenizationProcess whereby a sample is mixed in a stainless steel bowl or in-situ until a consistent physical appearance is achieved. This is performed for all parameters except volatiles.
HQ (Hazard Quotient)The ratio of the exposure estimate to an effects concentration considered to represent a "safe" environmental concentration or dose. In Canada HQ<0.2 represent negligible risks to humans
Human Health RiskThe likelihood that a given exposure or series of exposures may have damaged or will damage the health of individuals.
Human Health Risk Assessment (HHRA)A process intended to estimate the level of risk associated with agents (chemicals) in the human environment to provide guidance on whether the attendant risks are acceptable for the intended use HHRAs may be carried out on the basis of literature toxicity and exposure data or may utilize site-specific exposure data. In each case the steps in the process are hazard identification, hazard characterization (sometimes termed dose-response assessment), exposure assessment and risk characterization.
Hydraulic ConductivityThe rate at which water can move through a permeable medium (i.e. the coefficient of permeability).
Hydrocarbons (HC)Chemical compounds that consist entirely of carbon and hydrogen
Hatfield Consultants The World Bank funded by the Canadian POPs Trust Fund through the      
Canadian International Development Agency
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