United States Environmental Protection Agency
Elements, compounds, mixtures, or solutions that are considered severely harmful to human health and the environment. They include substances that are toxic, corrosive, flammable, or explosive.
An array of tests used to determine the toxicity of a substance to living systems. These include tests on clinical drugs, foods, and environmental pollutants.
The exposure to potentially harmful chemical, physical, or biological agents in the environment or to environmental factors that may include ionizing radiation, pathogenic organisms, or toxic chemicals.
Reproducibility of Results
The statistical reproducibility of measurements (often in a clinical context), including the testing of instrumentation or techniques to obtain reproducible results. The concept includes reproducibility of physiological measurements, which may be used to develop rules to assess probability or prognosis, or response to a stimulus; reproducibility of occurrence of a condition; and reproducibility of experimental results.
An aspect of personal behavior or lifestyle, environmental exposure, or inborn or inherited characteristic, which, on the basis of epidemiologic evidence, is known to be associated with a health-related condition considered important to prevent.
Animal Testing Alternatives
Procedures, such as TISSUE CULTURE TECHNIQUES; mathematical models; etc., when used or advocated for use in place of the use of animals in research or diagnostic laboratories.
The process of minimizing risk to an organization by developing systems to identify and analyze potential hazards to prevent accidents, injuries, and other adverse occurrences, and by attempting to handle events and incidents which do occur in such a manner that their effect and cost are minimized. Effective risk management has its greatest benefits in application to insurance in order to avert or minimize financial liability. (From Slee & Slee: Health care terms, 2d ed)
Predictive Value of Tests
In screening and diagnostic tests, the probability that a person with a positive test is a true positive (i.e., has the disease), is referred to as the predictive value of a positive test; whereas, the predictive value of a negative test is the probability that the person with a negative test does not have the disease. Predictive value is related to the sensitivity and specificity of the test.
Maximum Allowable Concentration
The maximum exposure to a biologically active physical or chemical agent that is allowed during an 8-hour period (a workday) in a population of workers, or during a 24-hour period in the general population, which does not appear to cause appreciable harm, whether immediate or delayed for any period, in the target population. (From Lewis Dictionary of Toxicology, 1st ed)
Carcinogenic substances that are found in the environment.
Sensitivity and Specificity
Binary classification measures to assess test results. Sensitivity or recall rate is the proportion of true positives. Specificity is the probability of correctly determining the absence of a condition. (From Last, Dictionary of Epidemiology, 2d ed)
Tests to experimentally measure the tumor-producing/cancer cell-producing potency of an agent by administering the agent (e.g., benzanthracenes) and observing the quantity of tumors or the cell transformation developed over a given period of time. The carcinogenicity value is usually measured as milligrams of agent administered per tumor developed. Though this test differs from the DNA-repair and bacterial microsome MUTAGENICITY TESTS, researchers often attempt to correlate the finding of carcinogenicity values and mutagenicity values.
Water Pollutants, Chemical
Dental Caries Susceptibility
The predisposition to tooth decay (DENTAL CARIES).
Observation of a population for a sufficient number of persons over a sufficient number of years to generate incidence or mortality rates subsequent to the selection of the study group.
Outcome Assessment (Health Care)
The study of existing genetic knowledge, and the generation of new genetic data, to understand and thus avoid DRUG TOXICITY and adverse effects from toxic substances from the environment.
Chemicals used to destroy pests of any sort. The concept includes fungicides (FUNGICIDES, INDUSTRIAL); INSECTICIDES; RODENTICIDES; etc.
Chlorinated hydrocarbons containing heteroatoms that are present as contaminants of herbicides. Dioxins are carcinogenic, teratogenic, and mutagenic. They have been banned from use by the FDA.
Measurable and quantifiable biological parameters (e.g., specific enzyme concentration, specific hormone concentration, specific gene phenotype distribution in a population, presence of biological substances) which serve as indices for health- and physiology-related assessments, such as disease risk, psychiatric disorders, environmental exposure and its effects, disease diagnosis, metabolic processes, substance abuse, pregnancy, cell line development, epidemiologic studies, etc.
Toxic, volatile, flammable liquid hydrocarbon byproduct of coal distillation. It is used as an industrial solvent in paints, varnishes, lacquer thinners, gasoline, etc. Benzene causes central nervous system damage acutely and bone marrow damage chronically and is carcinogenic. It was formerly used as parasiticide.
Substances which pollute the soil. Use for soil pollutants in general or for which there is no specific heading.
Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
Guidelines as Topic
A systematic statement of policy rules or principles. Guidelines may be developed by government agencies at any level, institutions, professional societies, governing boards, or by convening expert panels. The text may be cursive or in outline form but is generally a comprehensive guide to problems and approaches in any field of activity. For guidelines in the field of health care and clinical medicine, PRACTICE GUIDELINES AS TOPIC is available.
Severity of Illness Index
Evaluation undertaken to assess the results or consequences of management and procedures used in combating disease in order to determine the efficacy, effectiveness, safety, and practicability of these interventions in individual cases or series.
Health Status Indicators
The measurement of the health status for a given population using a variety of indices, including morbidity, mortality, and available health resources.
The failure by the observer to measure or identify a phenomenon accurately, which results in an error. Sources for this may be due to the observer's missing an abnormality, or to faulty technique resulting in incorrect test measurement, or to misinterpretation of the data. Two varieties are inter-observer variation (the amount observers vary from one another when reporting on the same material) and intra-observer variation (the amount one observer varies between observations when reporting more than once on the same material).
Studies in which subsets of a defined population are identified. These groups may or may not be exposed to factors hypothesized to influence the probability of the occurrence of a particular disease or other outcome. Cohorts are defined populations which, as a whole, are followed in an attempt to determine distinguishing subgroup characteristics.
Medical History Taking
Detection of a MUTATION; GENOTYPE; KARYOTYPE; or specific ALLELES associated with genetic traits, heritable diseases, or predisposition to a disease, or that may lead to the disease in descendants. It includes prenatal genetic testing.
An educational process that provides information and advice to individuals or families about a genetic condition that may affect them. The purpose is to help individuals make informed decisions about marriage, reproduction, and other health management issues based on information about the genetic disease, the available diagnostic tests, and management programs. Psychosocial support is usually offered.
Studies used to test etiologic hypotheses in which inferences about an exposure to putative causal factors are derived from data relating to characteristics of persons under study or to events or experiences in their past. The essential feature is that some of the persons under study have the disease or outcome of interest and their characteristics are compared with those of unaffected persons.
The collective designation of three organizations with common membership: the European Economic Community (Common Market), the European Coal and Steel Community, and the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom). It was known as the European Community until 1994. It is primarily an economic union with the principal objectives of free movement of goods, capital, and labor. Professional services, social, medical and paramedical, are subsumed under labor. The constituent countries are Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. (The World Almanac and Book of Facts 1997, p842)
The promotion and maintenance of physical and mental health in the work environment.
Studies in which the presence or absence of disease or other health-related variables are determined in each member of the study population or in a representative sample at one particular time. This contrasts with LONGITUDINAL STUDIES which are followed over a period of time.
Waste products which threaten life, health, or the environment when improperly treated, stored, transported, disposed of, or otherwise managed.
Dynamic and kinetic mechanisms of exogenous chemical and DRUG LIBERATION; ABSORPTION; BIOLOGICAL TRANSPORT; TISSUE DISTRIBUTION; BIOTRANSFORMATION; elimination; and DRUG TOXICITY as a function of dosage, and rate of METABOLISM. LADMER, ADME and ADMET are abbreviations for liberation, absorption, distribution, metabolism, elimination, and toxicology.
Age as a constituent element or influence contributing to the production of a result. It may be applicable to the cause or the effect of a circumstance. It is used with human or animal concepts but should be differentiated from AGING, a physiological process, and TIME FACTORS which refers only to the passage of time.
Practice Guidelines as Topic
Directions or principles presenting current or future rules of policy for assisting health care practitioners in patient care decisions regarding diagnosis, therapy, or related clinical circumstances. The guidelines may be developed by government agencies at any level, institutions, professional societies, governing boards, or by the convening of expert panels. The guidelines form a basis for the evaluation of all aspects of health care and delivery.
Contamination of the air, bodies of water, or land with substances that are harmful to human health and the environment.
Substances or organisms which pollute the water or bodies of water. Use for water pollutants in general or those for which there is no specific heading.
Activities involved in ensuring the safety of FOOD including avoidance of bacterial and other contamination.
Pesticides or their breakdown products remaining in the environment following their normal use or accidental contamination.
The total number of cases of a given disease in a specified population at a designated time. It is differentiated from INCIDENCE, which refers to the number of new cases in the population at a given time.
Decision Support Techniques
Statistical models which describe the relationship between a qualitative dependent variable (that is, one which can take only certain discrete values, such as the presence or absence of a disease) and an independent variable. A common application is in epidemiology for estimating an individual's risk (probability of a disease) as a function of a given risk factor.
Systematic gathering of data for a particular purpose from various sources, including questionnaires, interviews, observation, existing records, and electronic devices. The process is usually preliminary to statistical analysis of the data.
Genetic Predisposition to Disease
Release of oil into the environment usually due to human activity.
Technology Assessment, Biomedical
An approach of practicing medicine with the goal to improve and evaluate patient care. It requires the judicious integration of best research evidence with the patient's values to make decisions about medical care. This method is to help physicians make proper diagnosis, devise best testing plan, choose best treatment and methods of disease prevention, as well as develop guidelines for large groups of patients with the same disease. (from JAMA 296 (9), 2006)
A shiny gray element with atomic symbol As, atomic number 33, and atomic weight 75. It occurs throughout the universe, mostly in the form of metallic arsenides. Most forms are toxic. According to the Fourth Annual Report on Carcinogens (NTP 85-002, 1985), arsenic and certain arsenic compounds have been listed as known carcinogens. (From Merck Index, 11th ed)
Studies which start with the identification of persons with a disease of interest and a control (comparison, referent) group without the disease. The relationship of an attribute to the disease is examined by comparing diseased and non-diseased persons with regard to the frequency or levels of the attribute in each group.
Administrative units of government responsible for policy making and management of governmental activities.
Threshold Limit Values
Standards for limiting worker exposure to airborne contaminants. They are the maximum concentration in air at which it is believed that a particular substance will not produce adverse health effects with repeated daily exposure. It can be a time-weighted average (TLV-TWA), a short-term value (TLV-STEL), or an instantaneous value (TLV-Ceiling). They are expressed either as parts per million (ppm) or milligram per cubic meter (mg/m3).
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (U.S.)
A colorless and flammable gas at room temperature and pressure. Ethylene oxide is a bactericidal, fungicidal, and sporicidal disinfectant. It is effective against most micro-organisms, including viruses. It is used as a fumigant for foodstuffs and textiles and as an agent for the gaseous sterilization of heat-labile pharmaceutical and surgical materials. (From Reynolds, Martindale The Extra Pharmacopoeia, 30th ed, p794)
Air Pollutants, Occupational
Procedures for finding the mathematical function which best describes the relationship between a dependent variable and one or more independent variables. In linear regression (see LINEAR MODELS) the relationship is constrained to be a straight line and LEAST-SQUARES ANALYSIS is used to determine the best fit. In logistic regression (see LOGISTIC MODELS) the dependent variable is qualitative rather than continuously variable and LIKELIHOOD FUNCTIONS are used to find the best relationship. In multiple regression, the dependent variable is considered to depend on more than a single independent variable.
Tomography, X-Ray Computed
The restriction of a characteristic behavior, anatomical structure or physical system, such as immune response; metabolic response, or gene or gene variant to the members of one species. It refers to that property which differentiates one species from another but it is also used for phylogenetic levels higher or lower than the species.
Data Interpretation, Statistical
Psychiatry in its legal aspects. This includes criminology, penology, commitment of mentally ill, the psychiatrist's role in compensation cases, the problems of releasing information to the court, and of expert testimony.
Substances intended to be applied to the human body for cleansing, beautifying, promoting attractiveness, or altering the appearance without affecting the body's structure or functions. Included in this definition are skin creams, lotions, perfumes, lipsticks, fingernail polishes, eye and facial makeup preparations, permanent waves, hair colors, toothpastes, and deodorants, as well as any material intended for use as a component of a cosmetic product. (U.S. Food & Drug Administration Center for Food Safety & Applied Nutrition Office of Cosmetics Fact Sheet (web page) Feb 1995)
Industrial products consisting of a mixture of chlorinated biphenyl congeners and isomers. These compounds are highly lipophilic and tend to accumulate in fat stores of animals. Many of these compounds are considered toxic and potential environmental pollutants.
Critical and exhaustive investigation or experimentation, having for its aim the discovery of new facts and their correct interpretation, the revision of accepted conclusions, theories, or laws in the light of newly discovered facts, or the practical application of such new or revised conclusions, theories, or laws. (Webster, 3d ed)
Quality of Life
A generic concept reflecting concern with the modification and enhancement of life attributes, e.g., physical, political, moral and social environment; the overall condition of a human life.
Analysis of Variance
The development of systems to prevent accidents, injuries, and other adverse occurrences in an institutional setting. The concept includes prevention or reduction of adverse events or incidents involving employees, patients, or facilities. Examples include plans to reduce injuries from falls or plans for fire safety to promote a safe institutional environment.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Polycyclic Hydrocarbons, Aromatic
A major group of unsaturated cyclic hydrocarbons containing two or more rings. The vast number of compounds of this important group, derived chiefly from petroleum and coal tar, are rather highly reactive and chemically versatile. The name is due to the strong and not unpleasant odor characteristic of most substances of this nature. (From Hawley's Condensed Chemical Dictionary, 12th ed, p96)
Maleness or femaleness as a constituent element or influence contributing to the production of a result. It may be applicable to the cause or effect of a circumstance. It is used with human or animal concepts but should be differentiated from SEX CHARACTERISTICS, anatomical or physiological manifestations of sex, and from SEX DISTRIBUTION, the number of males and females in given circumstances.
Exogenous agents, synthetic and naturally occurring, which are capable of disrupting the functions of the ENDOCRINE SYSTEM including the maintenance of HOMEOSTASIS and the regulation of developmental processes. Endocrine disruptors are compounds that can mimic HORMONES, or enhance or block the binding of hormones to their receptors, or otherwise lead to activating or inhibiting the endocrine signaling pathways and hormone metabolism.
Specific practices for the prevention of disease or mental disorders in susceptible individuals or populations. These include HEALTH PROMOTION, including mental health; protective procedures, such as COMMUNICABLE DISEASE CONTROL; and monitoring and regulation of ENVIRONMENTAL POLLUTANTS. Primary prevention is to be distinguished from SECONDARY PREVENTION and TERTIARY PREVENTION.
Evaluation Studies as Topic
Drug-Related Side Effects and Adverse Reactions
Care given during the period prior to undergoing surgery when psychological and physical preparations are made according to the special needs of the individual patient. This period spans the time between admission to the hospital to the time the surgery begins. (From Dictionary of Health Services Management, 2d ed)
A class of statistical methods applicable to a large set of probability distributions used to test for correlation, location, independence, etc. In most nonparametric statistical tests, the original scores or observations are replaced by another variable containing less information. An important class of nonparametric tests employs the ordinal properties of the data. Another class of tests uses information about whether an observation is above or below some fixed value such as the median, and a third class is based on the frequency of the occurrence of runs in the data. (From McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms, 4th ed, p1284; Corsini, Concise Encyclopedia of Psychology, 1987, p764-5)
The number of new cases of a given disease during a given period in a specified population. It also is used for the rate at which new events occur in a defined population. It is differentiated from PREVALENCE, which refers to all cases, new or old, in the population at a given time.
A distribution in which a variable is distributed like the sum of the squares of any given independent random variable, each of which has a normal distribution with mean of zero and variance of one. The chi-square test is a statistical test based on comparison of a test statistic to a chi-square distribution. The oldest of these tests are used to detect whether two or more population distributions differ from one another.
Containment of Biohazards
Provision of physical and biological barriers to the dissemination of potentially hazardous biologically active agents (bacteria, viruses, recombinant DNA, etc.). Physical containment involves the use of special equipment, facilities, and procedures to prevent the escape of the agent. Biological containment includes use of immune personnel and the selection of agents and hosts that will minimize the risk should the agent escape the containment facility.
A method of measuring the effects of a biologically active substance using an intermediate in vivo or in vitro tissue or cell model under controlled conditions. It includes virulence studies in animal fetuses in utero, mouse convulsion bioassay of insulin, quantitation of tumor-initiator systems in mouse skin, calculation of potentiating effects of a hormonal factor in an isolated strip of contracting stomach muscle, etc.
The branch of science concerned with the interrelationship of organisms and their ENVIRONMENT, especially as manifested by natural cycles and rhythms, community development and structure, interactions between different kinds of organisms, geographic distributions, and population alterations. (Webster's, 3d ed)
Collection, analysis, and interpretation of data about the frequency, distribution, and consequences of disease or health conditions, for use in the planning, implementing, and evaluating public health programs.
The presence of contaminants or pollutant substances in the air (AIR POLLUTANTS) that interfere with human health or welfare, or produce other harmful environmental effects. The substances may include GASES; PARTICULATE MATTER; or volatile ORGANIC CHEMICALS.
A set of techniques used when variation in several variables has to be studied simultaneously. In statistics, multivariate analysis is interpreted as any analytic method that allows simultaneous study of two or more dependent variables.
Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
Dermatitis, Allergic Contact
Criteria and standards used for the determination of the appropriateness of the inclusion of patients with specific conditions in proposed treatment plans and the criteria used for the inclusion of subjects in various clinical trials and other research protocols.
Area Under Curve
A statistical means of summarizing information from a series of measurements on one individual. It is frequently used in clinical pharmacology where the AUC from serum levels can be interpreted as the total uptake of whatever has been administered. As a plot of the concentration of a drug against time, after a single dose of medicine, producing a standard shape curve, it is a means of comparing the bioavailability of the same drug made by different companies. (From Winslade, Dictionary of Clinical Research, 1992)
Referral and Consultation
Primary Health Care
Conservation of Natural Resources
The protection, preservation, restoration, and rational use of all resources in the total environment.
Approximate, quantitative reasoning that is concerned with the linguistic ambiguity which exists in natural or synthetic language. At its core are variables such as good, bad, and young as well as modifiers such as more, less, and very. These ordinary terms represent fuzzy sets in a particular problem. Fuzzy logic plays a key role in many medical expert systems.
Quality Assurance, Health Care
Activities and programs intended to assure or improve the quality of care in either a defined medical setting or a program. The concept includes the assessment or evaluation of the quality of care; identification of problems or shortcomings in the delivery of care; designing activities to overcome these deficiencies; and follow-up monitoring to ensure effectiveness of corrective steps.