Public Health Assessment Public Comment Release
Appendix C. ATSDR Glossary of Environmental Health Terms
The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) is a federal public health
agency with headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia, and 10 regional offices in the United States.
ATSDR's mission is to serve the public by using the best science, taking responsive public
health actions, and providing trusted health information to prevent harmful exposures and
diseases related to toxic substances. ATSDR is not a regulatory agency, unlike the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which is the federal agency that develops and enforces
environmental laws to protect the environment and human health.
This glossary defines words used
in communications with the public.
It is not
complete dictionary of environmental health terms. If you have questions or comments, call
ATSDR's toll-free telephone number, 1-888-42-ATSDR (1-888-422-8737).
How a chemical enters a person=s blood after the chemical has been
swallowed, has come into contact with the skin, or has been breathed in.
Contact with a chemical that happens once or only for a limited period
of time. ATSDR defines acute exposures as those that might last up to
A response to a chemical mixture, or combination of substances, that
might be expected if the known effects of individual chemicals, seen at
specific doses, were added together.
A change in body function or the structures of cells that can lead to
disease or health problems.
A response to a mixture of chemicals or combination of substances that
is less than might be expected if the known effects of individual
chemicals, seen at specific doses, were added together.
The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. ATSDR is a
federal health agency in Atlanta, Georgia that deals with hazardous
substance and waste site issues. ATSDR gives people information about
harmful chemicals in their environment and tells people how to protect
themselves from coming into contact with chemicals.
An average or expected amount of a chemical in a specific
environment. Or, amounts of chemicals that occur naturally in a specific
See Relative Bioavailability.
Used in public health, things that humans would eat B including