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Reducing the impact of hazardous chemicals on public health: what known and what can be done to reduce it?

 

Glossary over Reducing the impact of hazardous chemicals on public health: what known and what can be done to reduce it?

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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Bronchiolitis

Inflammation of the bronchioles, the smallest air passages of the lungs.

The term usually refers to acute viral bronchiolitis, a common disease of the respirtatory tract that is caused by viruses and that commonly affects children under twelve months of age. (Source: GreenFacts)

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Bronchitis

Inflammation of the bronchi, the main air passages that lead to the lungs.

Bronchitis causes a persistent cough and phlegm production. It is especially common in smokers and in areas with atmospheric pollution. (Source: GreenFacts based on Urologychannel HC Glossary )

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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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Carbon monoxide (CO)

An odorless, colorless, and highly poisonous gas.

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Cataract

A clouding of the natural lens of the eye most frequently caused by ageing that can severely blur vision. (Source: GreenFacts)

Chronic

Occurring over a long period of time, either continuously or intermittently; used to describe ongoing exposures and effects that develop only after a long exposure. (Source: US EPA Thesaurus  )

Detergent

Cleaning product that usually contain surfactants to make oils and greases soluble in water and remove them more easily. (Source: GreenFacts)

Disability-adjusted life years (DALYs)

A method of calculating the global or world-wide health impact of a disease or the global disease burden (GDB) in terms of the reported or estimated cases of premature death, disability and days of infirmity due to illness from a specific disease or condition. (Source: UN Atlas of the Oceans
GESAMP Glossary  )

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Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment

RIVM works to prevent and control outbreaks of infectious diseases.

We promote public health and consumer safety, and we help to protect the quality of the environment.

RIVM collects and collates knowledge and information from various sources, both national and international.

We apply this knowledge ourselves, and we place it at the disposal of policy-makers, researchers, regulatory authorities and the general public.

Each year, RIVM produces numerous reports on all aspects of public health, nutrition and diet, health care, disaster management, nature and the environment. (Source: www.rivm.nl/en  )

Elemental Arsenic

The element with the symbol "As" and the atomic number 33. Its molecular weight is 74.92160 g. It can be classified as semi metallic and its colour is observed to be metallic grey. (Source: GreenFacts)

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Fluoride

Fluorine (F) is the first element of the halogen family and the most reactive of all chemical elements. The term "fluoride" refers to its ionic form (F-) and "fluorides" to fluoride-containing compounds, both organic and inorganic.

Fluorine is never found by itself in nature but fluorides are found everywhere: in soil, air, and water, as well as in plant and animal life.

Fluoride is commonly added to tap water, particularly in North America, and used in dental products to help prevent tooth decay.

Fluorides are important industrial chemicals with a number of uses but the largest uses are for the production of aluminium and specialty chemicals used for refrigeration and air conditioning through fluorocarbons, for drinking-water fluoridation and for the manufacture of fluoridated dental preparations.

In excessive amounts, fluoride can lead to fluorosis.

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Food web

The interconnected food chains (feeding relationships) in an ecosystem. Plants, herbivores, and carnivores all form parts of the food web. (Source: GreenFacts)

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Fossil fuel(s)

A general term for buried combustible geologic deposits of organic materials, formed from decayed plants and animals that have been converted to crude oil, coal, natural gas, or heavy oils by exposure to heat and pressure in the Earth's crust over hundreds of millions of years. (Source: US EPA Glossary of Climate Change terms  )

Heavy metals

Metallic elements with high atomic weights, e.g. mercury, chromium, cadmium, arsenic, and lead.

They can damage living things at low concentrations and tend to accumulate in the food chain. (Source: US EPA Drinking Water Glossary  )

Human health

A state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.

The health of a whole community or population is reflected in measurements of disease incidence and prevalence, age-specific death rates, and life expectancy. (Source: MA Glossary  )

Mortality

Death. Usually the cause (a specific disease, a condition, or an injury) is stated. (Source: ATSDR Glossary of Terms   )

Particulate matter

Sum of all microscopic solid and liquid particles, of human and natural origin, that remain suspended in a medium such as air for some time. These particles vary greatly in size, composition, and origin, and may be harmful.

Particulate matter may be in the form of fly ash, soot, dust, fog, fumes etc. (Source: GreenFacts)

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Persistent organic pollutants

Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) are chemical substances that persist in the environment, bioaccumulate through the food web, and pose a risk of causing adverse effects to human health and the environment. This group of priority pollutants consists of pesticides (such as DDT), industrial chemicals (such as polychlorinated biphenyls, PCBs) and unintentional by-products of industrial processes (such as dioxins and furans).

Persistent Organic Pollutants are transported across international boundaries far from their sources, even to regions where they have never been used or produced. (Source: European Commission Environment DG POPs  )

Pesticide

A toxic chemical product that kills harmful organisms (e.g., insecticides, fungicide, weedicides, rodenticides, acaricides). (Source: FAO Glossary of biotechnology & genetic engineering  )

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Pneumonia

Inflammation of lung alveoli, the tiny air sacs deep within the lungs where carbon dioxide and oxygen are exchanged.

Pneumonia can cause symptoms such as fever, chills, muscle stiffness, chest pain, coughing up of phlegm, shortness of breath, rapid heart rate and difficulty breathing.

The disease can be acute or chronic and is usually caused by bacteria or viruses. (Source: GreenFacts)

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Pulmonary

Relating to, or associated with the lungs. (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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Stroke

A stroke is the sudden and instant death of brain cells following an interruption of the blood supply to the brain.

Ischemic strokes generally occur when a blood clot blocks one of the blood vessels in the brain resulting in a temporary or permanent loss of oxygen supply to the brain. They are the most common form of stroke, accounting for 80% of strokes.

Haemorrhagic strokes account for 20% of strokes and are caused by the rupture of a blood vessel in the brain, causing bleeding into the brain tissue and depriving some areas of oxygen.

Depending on the area of the brain affected, a stroke can cause the paralysis of the arms, legs and facial muscles, weakness, loss of vision and speech, unconsciousness, or death. (Source: GreenFacts)

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Sulphur dioxide (SO2)

A corrosive gas produced by the burning of fuels, such as coal and oil, that contain sulphur. It is also produced from sea spray, organic decomposition and volcanic eruptions.

When combined with water in the air, it produces a weak, corrosive sulfuric acid - an ingredient of "acid rain". (Source: GreenFacts)

Sustainability

A characteristic or state whereby the needs of the present and local population can be met without compromising the ability of future generations or populations in other locations to meet their needs.

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The Joint Group of Experts on the Scientific Aspects of Marine Environmental Protection

The Joint Group of Experts on the Scientific Aspects of Marine Environmental Protection (GESAMP) is an advisory body, established in 1969, that advises the United Nations (UN) system on the scientific aspects of marine environmental protection.

At present GESAMP is jointly sponsored by nine UN organizations with responsibilities relating to the marine environment, and they utilize GESAMP as a mechanism for coordination and collaboration among them. GESAMP functions are to conduct and support marine environmental assessments, to undertake in-depth studies, analyses, and reviews of specific topics, and to identify emerging issues regarding the state of the marine environment. GESAMP itself today consists of 16 experts, drawn from a wide range of relevant disciplines, who act in an independent and individual capacity. Studies and assessments are usually carried out by dedicated working groups, most of whose members are not sitting members of GESAMP but part of the broader GESAMP network.

GESAMP's UN sponsors: IMO, FAO, UNESCO-IOC, WMO, IAEA, UN, UNEP, UNIDO, UNDP.GESAMP

Source: (Source: www.gesamp.org/about  )

Toxicology

The study of the harmful effects of substances on humans or animals. (Source: ATSDR Glossary of Terms  )

World Health Organization

"The World Health Organization  (WHO) is the directing and coordinating authority on international health within the United Nations’ system. WHO experts produce health guidelines and standards, and help countries to address public health issues. WHO also supports and promotes health research. Through WHO, governments can jointly tackle global health problems and improve people’s well-being.

193 countries and two associate members are WHO’s membership. They meet every year at the World Health Assembly in Geneva to set policy for the Organization, approve the Organization’s budget, and every five years, to appoint the Director-General. Their work is supported by the 34-member Executive Board, which is elected by the Health Assembly. Six regional committees focus on health matters of a regional nature."

WHO's scientific publications are widely recognized as a reference source.

The WHO has a number of regional offices which address the specific issues of those regions.

WHO World Regional Offices
  WHO African Region  (46 countries)
  WHO European Region  (53 countries)
  WHO Eastern Mediterranean Region  (21 countries)
  WHO Region of the Americas  (35 countries)
  WHO South-East Asia Region  (11 countries)
  WHO Western Pacific Region  (27 countries)

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