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Suggested Citation:"Glossary." National Research Council. 2006. Human Biomonitoring for Environmental Chemicals. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11700.
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Glossary

ACC: American Chemistry Council.

Accuracy: Reflects the agreement between the measured value and the “true” value.

ACGIH: American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists.

AHS: Agricultural Health Study.

Allele: One of the variant forms of a gene at a particular locus, or location, on a chromosome.

ATSDR: Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry.

AUC: Area under the concentration-time curve.

BAT: Biologic Tolerance Value for Occupational Exposures.

BED: Biologic effective dose is the amount of a chemical or its metabolite that interacts with critical subcellular, cellular, and tissue targets.

BEIs: Biological exposure indices are the concentrations of chemicals that are most likely to be observed in specimens (blood or urine) collected from healthy workers who have been exposed to chemicals to the same extent as workers with inhalation exposure at the TLV.

Bias: Systematic error.

Biobank or biorepository: A system that will store one or many types of biologic specimens for later analysis from single or multiple studies under conditions that permit efficient retrieval and optimum stability of the sample.

Biologic effects: These may include a wide range of observations, from very early biochemical perturbations to clinical signs of alteration of health.

Suggested Citation:"Glossary." National Research Council. 2006. Human Biomonitoring for Environmental Chemicals. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11700.
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Biomarker of effect: A measurable biochemical, physiologic, behavioral, or other alteration in an organism that, depending on the magnitude, can be recognized as associated with an established or possible health impairment or disease.

Biomarker of exposure: The chemical or its metabolite or the product of an interaction between a chemical and some target molecule or cell that is measured in a compartment in an organism.

Biomarker of susceptibility: An indicator of an inherent or acquired ability of an organism to respond to the challenge of exposure to a specific chemical substance.

Biomonitoring: Defined as one method for assessing human exposure to chemicals by measuring the chemicals or their metabolites in human specimens, such as blood or urine.

Cancer slope factor: An upper bound, approximating a 95% confidence limit, on the increased cancer risk from a lifetime exposure to an agent.

CDC: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

CERHR: Center for the Evaluation of Risks to Human Reproduction.

Chemical: A chemical compound or element present in air, water, food, soil, dust, or other environmental medium (such as consumer products).

CLIA: Clinical Laboratory Improvement Act.

CLSI: Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute.

Creatinine: An end-product of protein metabolism found in the blood and urine.

DEHP: diethylhexylphthalate.

EBE: Early biological effect represents an event correlated with, and possibly predictive of, a health effect.

EPA: Environmental Protection Agency.

EPIC: European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition.

EWG: Environmental Working Group.

Exposure assessment: An identification and evaluation of the human population exposed to a toxic agent, describing its composition and size, as well as the type, magnitude, frequency, route and duration of exposure.

External dose: Amount of chemical that is inhaled, ingested, or comes in dermal contact and is available for systemic absorption. External dose is usually expressed in units of mg of chemical per kg body weight per day (mg/kg/day).

FDA: Food and Drug Administration.

FFES: Farm Family Exposure Study.

GAO: Government Accountability Office.

GerES: German Environmental Surveys.

Suggested Citation:"Glossary." National Research Council. 2006. Human Biomonitoring for Environmental Chemicals. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11700.
×

Half-life: Time required for an organ, tissue, or the whole body to eliminate (excrete) one-half of the concentration of a chemical or its metabolite.

HIPAA: Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.

ID: Internal dose is the amount of a chemical or its metabolite found in a biologic medium.

Intra-individual variability: Biological variation within people.

Interindividual variability: Biological variation between people.

ILSI: International Life Sciences Institute.

IOM: Institute of Medicine.

IRB: Institutional review board.

ISBER: International Society for Biological and Environmental Repositories.

LOD: Limit of detection is the lowest concentration that can be measured.

LOAEL: Lowest observed-adverse-effect level.

Metabolite: A chemical alteration, produced by body tissues, of the original compound.

mg/kg/day: Milligrams per kilogram per day.

µg/kg/day: Micrograms per kilogram per day.

MOE: Margin-of-exposure.

NCI: National Cancer Institute.

NCS: National Children’s Study.

NHANES: National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.

NHATS: National Human Adipose Tissue Survey.

NHEXAS: National Human Exposure Assessment Survey.

NHMP: National Human Monitoring Program.

NIEHS: National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.

NIH: National Institutes of Health.

NIOSH: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.

NOAEL: No-observed-adverse-effect level.

NRC: National Research Council.

NTP: National Toxicology Program.

OECD: Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

OSHA: Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

PAHs: Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons.

PCBs: Polychlorinated biphenyls.

PBDE: Polybrominated diphenyl ethers.

PBPK: Physiologically based pharmacokinetic model.

PFOA: Perfluorooctanoic acid.

Pharmacodynamics: Biological effect of chemical interaction with target sites in the body.

Pharmacokinetic: The quantitative study of factors that control the time course for absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion of chemicals within the body.

Suggested Citation:"Glossary." National Research Council. 2006. Human Biomonitoring for Environmental Chemicals. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11700.
×

Polymorphism A genetic variant that appears in at least 1% of a population.

ppb: Parts per billion.

ppm: Parts per million.

Precision: A measure of the degree of agreement among individual results obtained from the same or identical specimens with the same method and by the same analyst and laboratory.

QA-QC: Quality assurance-quality control.

Reference ranges: Biologic measurements obtained in a reference population, typically a population with no known exposure or only minimal exposure to the toxicant of concern.

RfCs: Reference concentration is an estimate (with uncertainty spanning perhaps an order of magnitude) of a continuous inhalation exposure to the human population (including sensitive subgroups) that is likely to be without an appreciable risk of deleterious effects during a lifetime.

RfD: Reference dose is an estimate (with uncertainty spanning perhaps an order of magnitude) of a daily oral exposure to the human population (including sensitive subgroups) that is likely to be without an appreciable risk of deleterious effects during a lifetime.

Risk assessment: The evaluation of scientific information on the hazardous properties of environmental agents (hazard characterization), the dose-response relationship (dose-response assessment), and the extent of human exposure to those agents (exposure assessment).

RMBC: Rocky Mountain Biomonitoring Consortium.

Robustness: A measure of intralaboratory day-to-day variation induced by small changes in procedure.

Ruggedness: A method’s reproducibility under the influence of variation in analyst, instrumentation, day of testing, and laboratory.

SCALE: Science, Children, Awareness-Raising, Legal Instruments and Evaluation is part of a larger European Environment and Health strategy to reduce and prevent diseases related to environmental exposures, with emphasis on exposures of susceptible populations, including children.

SES: socioeconomic status.

SOPs: Standard operating procedures.

Specificity: The ability to identify and quantify the target analyte in the presence of chemically similar interfering compounds.

TCDD: Dioxin.

TCE: Trichloroethylene.

TCP: 3,5,6-trichloro-2-pyridinol.

Suggested Citation:"Glossary." National Research Council. 2006. Human Biomonitoring for Environmental Chemicals. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11700.
×

TLV-TWA: Threshold Limit Value-time weighted average is time-weighted average concentration for a conventional 8-hour workday and a 40-hour workweek, to which it is believed that nearly all workers may be repeatedly exposed, day after day, without adverse effect.

Toxicokinetics: A more recent term that has essentially the same meaning as pharmacokinetics, but refers specifically to non-drug substances, primarily toxic chemicals.

ULV: Upper-limit value.

USDA: United States Department of Agriculture.

VOCs: Volatile organic compounds.

Vd: Volume of distribution.

WHO: World Health Organization.

WWF: World Wildlife Fund

Suggested Citation:"Glossary." National Research Council. 2006. Human Biomonitoring for Environmental Chemicals. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11700.
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Suggested Citation:"Glossary." National Research Council. 2006. Human Biomonitoring for Environmental Chemicals. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11700.
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Biomonitoring—a method for measuring amounts of toxic chemicals in human tissues—is a valuable tool for studying potentially harmful environmental chemicals. Biomonitoring data have been used to confirm exposures to chemicals and validate public health policies. For example, population biomonitoring data showing high blood lead concentrations resulted in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) regulatory reduction of lead in gasoline; biomonitoring data confirmed a resultant drop in blood lead concentrations. Despite recent advances, the science needed to understand the implications of the biomonitoring data for human health is still in its nascent stages. Use of the data also raises communication and ethical challenges. In response to a congressional request, EPA asked the National Research Council to address those challenges in an independent study. Human Biomonitoring for Environmental Chemicals provides a framework for improving the use of biomonitoring data including developing and using biomarkers (measures of exposure), research to improve the interpretation of data, ways to communicate findings to the public, and a review of ethical issues.

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