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Diethylhexyl phthalate

 

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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.
Additive effect

An additive effect is the overall consequence which is the result of two chemicals acting together and which is the simple sum of the effects of the chemicals acting independently. (Source: GreenFacts)

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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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  )

Carcinogen

A substance, factor or situation that causes or induces cancer. (Source: GreenFacts )

Cell

The basic subunit of any living organism; the simplest unit that can exist as an independent living system. There are many different types of cells in complex organisms such as humans, each with specific characteristics. (Source: GreenFacts)

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Chromosome

One of the threadlike "packages" of genes and other DNA in the nucleus of a cell. Different kinds of organisms have different numbers of chromosomes. Humans have 23 pairs of chromosomes, 46 in all: 44 autosomes and two sex chromosomes. Each parent contributes one chromosome to each pair, so children get half of their chromosomes from their mothers and half from their fathers. (Source: NHGRI Talking Glossary of Genetic Terms  )

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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  )

Developmental effects

Effects in the developing offspring due to exposure before conception (either parent), prenatally, or postnatally to the time of sexual maturation. Developmental effects may be expressed at any time in the life span of the organism. Developmental effects are a subset of reproductive effects. (Source: CSIRO CSIRO biological effects and safety of EMR Glossary  )

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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Dialysis

When kidneys do not function properly, toxic wastes in the blood cannot be filtered out anymore and build up. If nothing is done, this can lead to death. Dialysis is a medical procedure that uses a machine to filter waste products from the blood and restore the bloods normal constituents. (Source: GreenFacts )

Dibutyl phthalate (DBP)

DBP, also known as DNBP, is a phthalate with the same core structure as DIDP and DINP but with two shorter side chains attached, each having four carbon atoms.

In the 1990s, over 75% of DBP was used as plasticiser in plastics such as PVC, 14% in adhesives, 7% in printing inks and 3% in other miscellaneous uses, including sealants and grouting agents used in construction as well as consumer products. For instance, it was used as an additive to perfumes, deodorants, hair sprays, nail polish, printer inks, and insecticides.

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

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Endpoint

A biological endpoint is a direct marker of disease progression - e.g. disease symptoms or death - used to describe a health effect (or a probability of that health effect) resulting from exposure to a chemical. (Source: GreenFacts)

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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 )

Fertility

The ability of people or animals to produce healthy offspring in abundance.

Unlike fecundity, which measures a potential ability, fertility measures the actual number of offspring of an individual, a couple, a group or a population. It is evaluated by the time to achieve pregnancy.

Please note that "fertility" corresponds to "fécondité" in French and "fecundidad" in Spanish whereas the French word "fertilité" and the Spanish word "fertilidad" mean "fecundity". (Source: GreenFacts)

Fly ash

Fine solid particles of ash, dust, and soot that are carried into the air when fuel is burnt. (Source: GreenFacts)

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  )

Genotoxic

Toxic (damaging) to DNA. Substances that are genotoxic may bind directly to DNA or act indirectly leading to DNA damage by affecting enzymes involved in DNA replication, thereby causing mutations which may or may not lead to cancer or birth defects (inheritable damage). Genotoxic substances are not necessarily carcinogenic. (Source: GreenFacts)

Groundwater

Water beneath the Earth's surface in the spaces between soil particles and between rock surfaces. (Source: ATSDR Glossary of Terms  )

Insecticide

A substance that kills insects. (Source: FAO Glossary of biotechnology & genetic engineering  )

Landfill

A site where household and industrial waste can be disposed of. It is generally spread in thin layers which are then covered with soil. (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 )

Liver

The liver is a big reddish-brow organ lying beneath the diaphragm on the right side. The liver is made up for a great part of liver cells which absorb nutrients and detoxify and remove harmful substances from the blood such as drugs and alcohol. The liver has many other vital functions and there is currently no way to compensate for the absence of liver.

Other liver functions include:

  • controlling levels of fats, amino acids and glucose in the blood
  • fighting infections in the body, particularly infections arising in the bowel.
  • manufacturing bile, a kind of digestive juice which aids in the digestion of fats
  • storing iron, certain vitamins and other essential chemicals
  • breaking down food and turning it into energy
  • manufacturing, breaking down and regulating numerous hormones
  • making enzymes and proteins which are responsible for most chemical reactions in the body, for example those involved in blood clotting and repair of damaged tissues.
Metabolism

The conversion or breakdown of a substance from one form to another by an enzyme. (Source: GreenFacts, based on ATSDR Glossary of Terms )

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Micro-organism

Any living organism that is too small to be seen by the naked eye such as bacteria, viruses, protozoa, single-celled algae, and many types of fungi. (Source: GreenFacts)

Mutagen

A substance or physical agent that causes mutations, i.e. permanently alters the DNA of a cell. (Source: GreenFacts)

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Natural organic matter

Organic matter originating from plants and animals present in natural (untreated or raw) waters, for example, in lakes, rivers and reservoirs. (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  )

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 )

Pregnancy outcomes

Results of conception and ensuing pregnancy, such as sex ratio, birth weight, spontaneous abortion, congenital malformations, lower birth weight, preterm delivery or stillbirth. (Source: GreenFacts)

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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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   )

Trophic level

A trophic level of an organism is its position in a food chain.

Levels are numbered according to how far particular organisms are along the chain from the primary producers [plants] at level 1, to herbivores (level 2), to predators (level 3), to carnivores or top carnivores (level 4 or 5).

Fish at higher trophic levels are typically of higher economic value. (Source: Millennium Ecosystem Assessment Figure 1.3. Decline in Trophic Level of Fisheries Catch Since 1950 )

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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 )


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