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Phthalate Di-butyl phthalate

 

Glossary over Phthalate

Absorption

The process of taking in. For a person or an animal, absorption is the process of a substance getting into the body through the eyes, skin, stomach, intestines, or lungs. (Source: ATSDR Glossary of Terms  )

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Activated sludge

In biological wastewater treatment, activated sludge refers to either

  • the active population of micro-organisms, including bacteria and other living organisms such as fungi and protozoa, used to treat wastewater.
  • the wastewater treatment process in which these organisms are employed, or
  • the sludge resulting from that process.
Aerosol

An aerosol is a collection of microscopic particles, solid or liquid, suspended in a gas.

In the context of air pollution, an aerosol refers to fine particulate matter, that is larger than a molecule, but small enough to remain suspended in the atmosphere for at least several hours.

The term aerosol is also commonly used for a pressurized container (aerosol can) which is designed to release a fine spray of a material such as paint. It has also come to be associated, erroneously, with the gas (propellant) used to expel materials from an aerosol can. (Source: GreenFacts )

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Alkyl group

An alkyl is a functional group of an organic chemical that contains only carbon and hydrogen atoms, which are arranged in a chain.

They have general formula CnH2n+1

Examples include methyl CH3 (derived from methane) and butyl C2H5 (derived from butane). They are not found on their own but are found attached to other hydrocarbons. (Source: GreenFacts )

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Atmosphere

The mass of air surrounding the Earth.

The atmosphere consists of nitrogen (78%), oxygen (21%), and traces of other gases such as argon, helium, carbon dioxide, and ozone.

The atmosphere plays an important role in the protection of life on Earth; it absorbs ultraviolet solar radiation and reduces temperature extremes between day and night. (Source: GreenFacts)

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Benzyl butyl phthalate (BBP)

BBP is a phthalate that is mainly used as an additive for plasticising PVC or other polymers.

Other examples of applications include: perfumes, hair sprays, adhesives and glues, automotive products, vinyl floor coverings

At present, BBP is banned in all toys and childcare articles (see European Directive 2005/84/EC) and in cosmetics, including nail polish as it is considered to be carcinogenic, mutagenic or toxic to reproduction (CMR-substance) (see European Cosmetics Directive). (Source: GreenFacts)

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Bioaccumulation

Bioaccumulation is used to describe the increase in concentration of a substance in an organism over time.

Bioaccumulative substances tend to be fat soluble and not to be broken down by the organism. (Source: GreenFacts )

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Bioconcentration

The accumulation of a chemical in tissues of a fish or other organism to levels greater than that in the surrounding medium (environment). (Source: US EPA Terms of Environment Glossary  )

Cancer

Any one of a group of diseases that occur when cells in the body become abnormal and have the potential to spread and establish growth in nearby tissues and other parts of the body (malignancy). (Source: GreenFacts )

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Cellulose

The principal component of cell walls of plants, composed of a long chain of tightly bound sugar molecules. (Source: weblife.org Humanure Glossary  )

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Contaminant(s)

A substance that is either present in an environment where it does not belong or is present at levels that might cause harmful effects to humans or the environment. (Source: GreenFacts)

Danish Veterinary and Food Administration

"The Danish Veterinary and Food Administration (DVFA) is part of the Ministry of Family and Consumer Affairs. Administration, development, co-ordination and the formation of rules and regulations take place in the head office of the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration in Mørkhøj near Copenhagen.

Food control and veterinary inspection are handled by ten regional veterinary and food control centres. The regional veterinary and food control authorities function as local knowledge centres and provide direct information and consultancy to consumers, livestock owners, enterprises and practising veterinarians." (Source: DVFA website  )

Di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP)

DEHP is a phthalate, a substance to make plastics more flexible. In the 1990s it was the most commonly used plasticizer, added to many PVC building materials, for example PVC flooring.

Other examples of applications include: perfumes, and flexible PVC products such as shower curtains, garden hoses, diapers, food containers, plastic film for food packaging, bloodbags, catheters, gloves, and other medical equipments such as tubes for fluids.

At present, DEHP is banned in all toys and childcare articles (see European Directive 2005/84/EC). The use of this substance is also banned in cosmetics as it is considered to be carcinogenic, mutagenic or toxic to reproduction (CMR-substance). (See European Cosmetics Directive) (Source: GreenFacts)

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Di-isodecyl phthalate (DIDP)

DIDP is a phthalate that is mainly used as additives in plastics to make them more flexible.

Its structure and applications are very similar to those of DINP. It has been widely used in everyday products, ranging from floorings to shoe soles.

In the 1990s, around 95% of DIDP was used in PVC as a plasticiser. More than half of the remaining 5% was used in the production of polymers other than PVC (e.g. rubbers). The remaining DIDP was used in non-polymer applications including anti-corrosion paints, anti-fouling paints, sealing compounds and textile inks.

At present, DIDP is banned in toys and childcare articles that children can put into their mouths (see European Directive 2005/84/EC) (Source: based on the GreenFacts study on Phthalates)

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Di-isononyl phthalate (DINP)

DINP is a phthalate that is mainly used as additives in plastics to make them more flexible. Its structure and applications are very similar to those of DIDP. It has been widely used in everyday products, ranging from floorings to shoe soles.

In the 1990s, around 95% of DINP was used in PVC as a plasticiser. More than half of the remaining 5% was used in the production of polymers other than PVC (e.g. rubbers). The remaining DINP was used in non-polymer applications including inks, adhesives and sealants, paints and lacquers.

At present, DINP is banned in toys and childcare articles that children can put into their mouths (see European Directive 2005/84/EC). (Source: based on the GreenFacts study on Phthalates)

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Dry Weight

The plant, animal, or other material containing the chemical of interest is dried to remove all water from the material. The amount of the chemical found in subsequent analysis is then expressed as weight of chemical divided by weight of the dried material which once contained it. (Source: GreenFacts)

European Chemicals Bureau

The European Chemicals Bureau (ECB) was active until August 2008 as part of the Institute for Health and Consumer Protection (IHCP), which is one of the seven scientific institutes in the European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC).

Its mission was to provide scientific and technical support to the conception, development, implementation and monitoring of EU policies on chemicals and consumer products. This included managing the risk assessment process, the development of guidance documents and tools in support of the REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals) Regulation, the Testing Methods Regulation, the Global Harmonised System (GHS) for the classification and labelling of hazardous chemicals and the Biocidal Products Directive.

Some of ECB's activities have been taken over by the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), others remain within the Institute for Health and Consumer Protection under the Consumer Products Safety & Quality (CPS&Q) Unit. (Source: ECB website  and CPS&Q website  )

European Commission Scientific Committee on Toxicity, Ecotoxicity and the Environment

The Scientific Committee on Toxicity, Ecotoxicity and the Environment (CSTEE) was created by the European Commission to address "scientific and technical questions relating to examination of the toxicity and ecotoxicity of chemical, biochemical and biological compounds whose use may have harmful consequences for human health and the environment." (Source: CSTEE website )

European Food Safety Authority

"Following a series of food scares in the 1990s (eg BSE, dioxins…) which undermined consumer confidence in the safety of the food chain, the European Union concluded that it needed to establish a new scientific body charged with providing independent and objective advice on food safety issues associated with the food chain. Its primary objective as set out in the White Paper on Food Safety would be to: “…contribute to a high level of consumer health protection in the area of food safety, through which consumer confidence can be restored and maintained.” The result was the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).

Set up provisionally in Brussels in 2002, EFSA provides independent scientific advice on all matters linked to food and feed safety - including animal health and welfare and plant protection - and provides scientific advice on nutrition in relation to Community legislation. The Authority communicates to the public in an open and transparent way on all matters within its remit. EFSA’s risk assessments provide risk managers (consisting of EU institutions with political accountability, i.e. European Commission, European Parliament and Council) with a sound scientific basis for defining policy driven legislative or regulatory measures required to ensure a high level of consumer protection with regards to food safety." (Source: EFSA website )

Exposure

Contact of the cells of an organism with a substance, micro-organism or radiation. In the case of humans, this may involve contact with a substance or agent by swallowing, breathing, or through the skin or eyes. Exposure may be short-term [acute exposure], of intermediate duration, or long-term [chronic exposure].

Exposure can be divided into external and internal.

External exposure refers to the whole dose to which an organism is exposed.

Internal exposure refers only to that fraction of the initial chemical dose that is absorbed and distributed throughout the body via systemic circulation. (Source: GreenFacts)

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Freshwater

Water that is not salty, for instance water found in lakes, streams, and rivers, but not the ocean. Also used to refer to things living in or related to freshwater (e.g., "freshwater fish"). (Source: GreenFacts)

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Genes

The functional and physical unit of heredity passed from parent to offspring. Genes are pieces of DNA, and most genes contain the information for making a specific protein. (Source: NHGRI Talking Glossary of Genetic Terms  )

Half life

The term which is used for the time required for the amount of a particular substance to be reduced to one half of its value when the rate of decay is exponential.

Radioactive half-life refers to the decay of radioactive substances. Iodine-131, for instance, has a half-life of 8 days whereas that of Plutonium-239 is more than 23 000 years.

Biological half-life refers to decay by biological processes. Substances with a long biological half-life will tend to accumulate in the body and are, therefore, particularly to be avoided. Substances with a short biological half-life may accumulate if some becomes tightly bound, even if most is cleared from the body rapidly. There is also the possibility of cumulative effects of chemicals which have a short residence time in the body. (Source: GreenFacts)

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Hormone(s)

Chemical messengers that help our body do different tasks. Hormones are produced by the endocrine glands and then sent all over the body to stimulate certain activities. For example, insulin is a well-known hormone that helps our body digest food. Hormones regulate our growth, digestion, reproduction and sexual function. (Source: EMCOM Endocrine disruptors glossary  )

Hydrolysis

The decomposition of organic compounds by interaction with water. (Source: US EPA Terms of Environment  )

In vitro

In an artificial environment outside a living organism or body. For example, some toxicity testing is done on cell cultures or slices of tissue grown in the laboratory, rather than on a living animal. (Source: ATSDR Glossary of Terms  )

Inhalation

The act of breathing.

A hazardous substance can enter the body by inhaling an airborne substance or contaminant in the form of gas, fumes mists, vapors, dusts, or aerosols. Once inhaled, contaminants can be deposited in the lungs and/or transported into the blood. (Source: GreenFacts)

Isomers

Chemical compound that has the same molecular formula - the same number and kinds of atoms - as another compound, but a different structural arrangement of the atoms in space, and, therefore, different properties.

For example, graphite (pencil lead) and diamond are isomers of carbon. Both are composed of pure carbon, but have very different physical properties.

As the number of carbon atoms in a molecule increases, the number of possible combinations, or isomers, increases sharply. For example, octane, an 8-carbon-atom molecule, has 18 isomers; decane, a 10-carbon-atom molecule, has 75 isomers. (Source: GreenFacts)

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Leukaemia

Leukaemia is a cancer that starts in blood-forming tissue such as the bone marrow, which makes blood cells (red blood cells that carry oxygen around the body, white blood cells that fight disease and infection, platelets that help to stop bleeding when it starts).

In people with leukaemia, the bone marrow produces large numbers of abnormal white blood cells and not enough normal red blood cells.

Leukaemia cases represent less than 4% of all cancer cases in adults but are the most common form of cancer in children.

There are different types of leukaemia (e.g. acute, chornic, myeloid and lymphoid leukaemia). (Source: GreenFacts )

Mass (weight) Units

The Metric System of Measurements uses the mass units: gram (g), kilogram (kg) and tonne (t).

1000 g = 1 kg
1000 kg = 1 tonne

Adding prefixes of the International System of Units (SI) allows to express weight as multiples or fractions of 1 gram:

1 gigatonne (Gt) =1 000 000 000 000 000 g
1 megatonne (Mt) =1 000 000 000 000 g
1 tonne (t) =1 000 000 g
1 kilogram (kg) =1 000 g
1 gram (g) =1 g
1 milligram (mg) =0.001 g
1 microgram (µg) =0.000 001 g
1 nanogram (ng) =0.000 000 001 g
1 picogram (pg) =0.000 000 000 001g

Imperial and US weight units can also be expressed as metric units:

Metric units
1 US ton (ton) =0.907 tonne
1 UK ton (ton) =1.016 tonne
1 lb (pound) =453.59 g
1 oz (ounce) =28.35g

Further information on the International System of Units (SI) is provided by the International Bureau of Weights and Measures (BIPM) www.bipm.org/en/si/ 

Metabolite

A substance that is the product of biological changes to a chemical. (Source: US EPA Glossary  )

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Molecule

A molecule is the smallest part of any chemical compound composed of two or more atoms and which has the qualities of that substance and can exist alone in a free state. As an example, a molecule of water (H2O) consists of two atoms of hydrogen and one of oxygen. (Source: GreenFacts, based on Helios Glossary   )

Mono-isononyl phthalate

A metabolite or breakdown product of di-isononyl phthalate [DINP]. (Source: GreenFacts, based on CDC Human Exposure to Environmental Chemicals )

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No Observed Adverse Effect Level

The highest tested dose of a substance that has been reported to have no harmful (adverse) health effects on people or animals. (Source: ATSDR Glossary of Terms   )

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Oxidizing agent

Any substance, such as oxygen (O2) or chlorine (Cl2), that will readily add (take on) electrons. The opposite is a reducing agent. (Source: US EPA Drinking Water Glossary   )

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Phthalates

Phthalates are a group of man-made chemicals that are structurally related to the organic acid, phthalic acid. The most important use of phthalates is in plastics, especially PVC, where they act as plasticisers. (Source: based on the GreenFacts Digest on phthalates)

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Plasticiser

A plasticiser is a substance which when added to a material, usually a plastic, produces a product which is flexible, resilient and easier to handle. (Source: Plasticisers Information Centre Frequently Asked Questions )

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Polymer

A polymer is a high-molecular-weight organic compound, natural or man-made, consisting of many repeating simpler chemical units or molecules called monomers.

Examples of natural polymers are proteins (polymer of amino acids) and cellulose (polymer of sugar molecules).

An example of synthetic polymer is PVC (a polymer of vinyl chloride). (Source: GreenFacts)

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Predicted Environmental Concentration

The Predicted Environmental Concentration is an indication of the expected concentration of a material in the environment, taking into account the amount initially present (or added to) the environment, its distribution, and the probable methods and rates of environmental degradation and removal, either forced or natural. (Source: The Physical and Theoretical Chemistry Laboratory Chemical Safety Information - Glossary )

Predicted No Effect Concentration

The predicted no-effect concentration (PNEC) is the concentration below which exposure to a substance is not expected to cause adverse effects. (Source: GreenFacts)

Production / Productivity

Production is the process of creating, growing, manufacturing, or improving goods and services. It also refers to the quantity produced.

In economics, productivity is used to measure the efficiency or rate of production. It is the amount of output (e.g. number of goods produced) per unit of input (e.g. labor, equipment, and capital).

In biology, productivity is a measure of the efficiency with which a biological system converts energy into growth. (Source: GreenFacts)

PVC

Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) is a polymer of vinyl chloride used to make various plastic products.

Examples of PVC products range from medical devices such as medical tubing and blood bags, to footwear, electrical cables; packaging, stationery, and toys. (Source: GreenFacts)

Respiratory tract

The organs that are involved in breathing.

These include the nose, throat, larynx, trachea, bronchi, and lungs. Also known as the respiratory system. (Source: St. Jude Children's Research Hospital Glossary   )

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Risk

The probability that something will cause injury or harm. (Source: ATSDR Glossary of Terms  )

Sealant

Any substance that is used to fill or close small gaps and cracks in another material. (Source: GreenFacts )

Sensitization

In the context of allergies, sensitization is the process by which a person becomes, over time, increasingly allergic to a substance (sensitiser) through repeated exposure to that substance (Source: GreenFacts)

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Sewage

Sewage refers to waste-water from homes and industry which is collected and carried away in sewers (pipes or tunnels). When raw waste-water is cleaned in treatment plants the waste product is sewage sludge, which can be used as a fertiliser under certain conditions or deposited in landfills. (Source: GreenFacts )

Soluble

A substance is soluble if it dissolves in certain fluids. The fluid [gas or liquid] (present in excess) is called the solvent and the substance dissolved in it is called the solute which together form a solution. The process of dissolving is called solvation. A solution that can not hold any more solute is said to be saturated. (Source: GreenFacts )

Surface water

Water on the surface of the Earth, such as in lakes, rivers, streams, ponds, and springs. (Source: ATSDR Glossary of Terms   )

Technical lifetime

The technical lifetime is the total time period [during which] an asset/machine can technically perform/function before it must be replaced. (Source: Project management in LDCs  )

Tissue

A group of cells joined to perform a set of functions. (Source: GreenFacts)

Toxicity

The capacity or property of a substance to cause adverse effects. (Source: GreenFacts)

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Tumour

An abnormal mass of tissue resulting from uncontrolled and excessive cell division.

Tumours can be either benign (localised, without the invasion of other tissues) or malignant (showing progressive invasion of other tissues). (Source: GreenFacts)

US Center for Disease Control and Prevention

"As the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is recognized as the lead federal agency for protecting the health and safety of people - at home and abroad, providing credible information to enhance health decisions, and promoting health through strong partnerships. CDC serves as the national focus for developing and applying disease prevention and control, environmental health, and health promotion and education activities designed to improve the health of the people of the United States."

"CDC, located in Atlanta, Georgia, USA, is an agency of the Department of Health and Human Services." (Source: CDC website )

Volatile

Able to readily evaporate at normal temperatures and pressures. (Source: GreenFacts)

Water disinfection by-product(s)

A chemical compound formed by the reaction of a water disinfectant (e.g. chlorine) with a precursor (e.g. natural organic matter) in a water supply. (Source: GreenFacts)


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