Insurance Resources: The Integrated Risk Management Glossary

Acceptable Daily Intake (ADI): The maximum amount of chemicals a person can be exposed to daily in a lifetime without suffering any negative health effects.

Acute Exposure: Short duration dose or multiple doses spanning less than 24 hours.

Acute Toxicity: The poisonous effect after an exposure. Generally within 24 to 96 hours.

Additional Risk (Added, Attributable Risk or Risk Difference) (AR): The risk calculated by finding the difference between the people who are exposed and the people who aren’t exposed to a particular condition. Deduct the disease rate of exposed people (Pu) from the unexposed people (Pe) to determine the absolute measure of risk (AR).

Adverse Effect: The reduced ability of an organism to adapt to environmental changes due to the effects of functional impairment, biochemical change or pathologic wounds.

Aerodynamic Diameter: A sphere’s diameter possessing unit density which demonstrates identical aerodynamic behaviour to a certain particle. Similar aerodynamic diameter particles might not necessarily have the same shape or dimensions.

Aerosol: Suspended solid or liquid particles in air.

Anecdotal Data: Data derived from individual case descriptions rather than controlled studies.

Average Daily Dose (ADD): The average dose rate calculated over a specific duration of exposure. It’s expressed in a daily dose basis. ADD is generally calculated in units such as mg/kg per day.

Background Levels: Antropogenic and naturally occurring levels describe the two background levels. In naturally occurring levels, concentration of substances are present naturally while in anthropogenic levels, they are induced by humans.

Benchmark Dose (BMD) or Concentration (BMC): Compared to background levels, it refers to a dose’s lower confidence limit which creates a change in the rate of response to a benchmark response (adverse effect).

Benchmark Response (BMR): Refers to adverse effect which defines a benchmark dose. RfC is developed from this benchmark dose. The response rate changes over the BMR background are between 5-10%.

Benign Tumor: A tumor which may impair a biological function but doesn’t spread to a secondary localization.

Bioassay: An assay that determines a substance’s concentration for bringing about a biological change in experimental animals.

Bioavailability: The amount of substance which is available to a target tissue after exposure.

Biologically Based Dose Response (BBDR) Model: A predictive tool for assessing human health risks by quantifying the responses (cellular or tissue) to a chemical exposure.

Cancer: A somatic mutation disease which affects cell growth. The cells affected by cancer grow abnormally.

Carcinogen: Any agent which induces cancer.

Carcinogenesis: The event when a benign or malignant tumour is produced. The genome of target cells is modified by the carcinogenic event.

Chronic Effect: The effect caused by repeated exposures.

Chronic Exposure: Several exposures which occurs in an individual’s lifetime.

Chronic Study: A study measuring the toxic effects of a chronic exposure to a particular chemical.

Chronic Toxicity: A substance’s capacity to cause adverse health effects as a result of chronic exposure.

Co-carcinogen: An agent which increases the carcinogenic effect of a carcinogen.

Control Group (or Reference Group): A group which serves as a standard for comparing laboratory studies.

Critical Effect: The first adverse effect caused to a sensitive species due to the increase of an agent’s dose rate.

Critical Study: The study contributing to the quantitative and qualitative assessment of risk. It’s also called Principal Study.

Dose-Response Relationship: The relationship between a subject’s biological change and the quantified exposure.

Effective Dose (ED10): A dose which increases an adverse effect by 10%, in relation to the control response.

Endpoint: An observable biological event which serves as an index to measure a chemical exposure.

Epidemiology: The branch which studies disease patterns among human populations.

Excess Lifetime Risk: The individual’s additional risk of developing cancer owing to his or her toxic substance exposure.

Exposure: The contact made between the outer walls of an organism and a biological or chemical agent.

Exposure Assessment: A study which assesses the exposure of humans to toxic agents. Exposure assessment includes the frequency, size and type of the exposure.

Forced Vital Capacity (FVC): Following maximal expiration, it’s the highest volume of air exhaled forcibly.

Functional Residual Capacity (FRC): The volume of a lung after a tidal expiration ends.

Gamma (Multi-hit) Model: The one-hit model which is generalized for low-dose extrapolation.

Guidelines (Human Health Risk Assessment): The official documentation which states the current EPA methodology for evaluating the risk from environmental pollutants.

Guidelines for Exposure Assessment: EPA guidelines for assisting agency analysis of chemical substance exposure.

Guidelines for Developmental Toxicity Risk Assessment: EPA guidelines for assisting agency analysis of developmental toxicity data.

Guidelines for the Health Risk Assessment of Chemical Mixtures: EPA guidelines for assisting agency analysis of chemical substance exposure related information.

Guidelines for Mutagenicity Risk Assessment: EPA guidelines for assisting agency analysis of mutagenicity data.

Hazard: A source which can potentially harm an individual.

Hazard Assessment: Refers to the analysis of adverse health effects caused by exposure to a certain agent.

Individual Risk: The risk of an individual in experiencing an adverse effect.

Initiation: Carcinogenesis’ initial stage.

Interspecies Dose Conversion: The process of extending equivalent doses to humans from animal doses.

Latency Period: The duration between an agent’s initial exposure up to the detection of a health effect of an individual.

Linear Dose Response: The intensity or the variation of a biological response to the amount of an agent’s dose.

Linearized Multistage Procedure: A linear modification of the multistage model which estimates carcinogenic risk.

Lowest-Observed Effect Level (LOEL or LEL): The lowest exposure level which causes a significant biological effect in an exposed population as compared to a control group which is unexposed.

Malignant Tumor: An abnormal tissue growth which invades distant tissues.

Margin of Exposure (MOE): The point of departure such as LED10 divided by the projected exposure of the environment.

Maximum Likelihood (ML) Method & Maximum Likelihood Estimate (MLE): Refers to a statistical method which offers a central tendency estimate for the calculation of model parameters.

Metastasis: A malignant tumor’s secondary growth in a spot which is far away from the primary tumor.

Multistage Model: A mathematical model which uses animal bioassay data for extrapolating cancer probability.

Mutagen: A substance that can alter a DNA’s structure.

Neoplasm: Malignant or benign tissue growth which is abnormal.

Oncogenic: A gene having the capacity to cause a cell’s neoplastic transformation when introduced to that cell.

Organoleptic: Affecting one of the five sense organs such as the tongue, eyes or ears.

ppb: A measuring unit which is expressed as parts per billion (1 x 10-9).

ppm: A measuring unit which is expressed as parts per million (1 x 10-6).

Promoter: A non-carcinogenic agent which stimulates a cell’s clonal expansion and neoplasm production.

Regional Gas Dose: The calculated gas dose for a particular region of interest relative to the effect observed for respiratory effects.

Reserve Volume: Following a maximal expiration, the volume of air that remains in the lungs.

Risk (in the context of human health): The probability of death or disease after exposure to a chemical agent. The values between 0 and 1 express the proportion of risk.

Short-Term Exposure: A short term multiple agent exposure which generally lasts one week.

Subchronic Exposure: An organism which is exposed to a substance for about 10% of its lifetime.

Subchronic Study: A study which measures the toxicity effects from a chemical’s subchronic exposure.

Target Organ: The biological organ or organs which are damaged the most as a result of a chemical substance exposure.

Threshold: The maximum limit of exposure or dose by which no harmful effect occurs.

Toxicology: The study which pertains to the assessment of harmful relations between biological systems and chemicals.

Tumor: Uncontrolled growth of cells which is abnormal.

Unit Risk: The upper-bound cancer risk which results from a constant exposure to an agent.

Upper bound: Upper limit of a quantity’s true value which is credible.

Vital Capacity (VC): The maximum volume of air that an individual can exhale in one breath.

Weight-of-Evidence (WOE) for Carcinogenicity: The system that the US EPA uses for evaluating the degree to which the data available with the EPA matches the claim that a particular agent causes human cancer.

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