Appendix D

Glossary



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Building Consensus Through Risk Assessment and Management of the Department of Energy's Environmental Remediation Program Appendix D Glossary

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Building Consensus Through Risk Assessment and Management of the Department of Energy's Environmental Remediation Program Appendix D Glossary1 acute effects: Effects that show up soon after exposure. acute exposure: Exposure over a short period. adverse consequences: Things broadly agreed to be undesirable. Examples include additional cases of human cancer, loss of species, and loss of use of socially or religiously important places. ambient: Naturally occurring background amounts of a substance in a particular environmental medium; may also refer to existing amounts in a medium regardless of source. biomarker: Indicators of changes or events in human biological systems. Biological markers of exposure refer to cellular, biochemical, or molecular measures that are obtained from biological 1   The definitions presented here are derived from several sources, mainly the Department of Energy, the Office of Technology Assessment, the Council on Environmental Quality, and members of the committee.

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Building Consensus Through Risk Assessment and Management of the Department of Energy's Environmental Remediation Program media such as human tissues, cells, or fluids and are indicative of exposure to environmental contaminants. cancer: The uncontrolled, invasive growth of cells. Cancerous cells can metastasize; they can break away from the original tumor, relocate, and grow elsewhere in the body. carcinogen: A substance that causes or induces cancer. characterization: Site sampling, monitoring, and analysis to determine the extent and nature of releases. chronic: Of long duration. Chronic exposure usually refers to long-term, low-level exposure. Chronic toxicity refers to the effects produced by such exposure. Chronic exposure may cause latent damage that does not appear until later. compliance agreements: agreements between regulatory agencies and regulated parties setting standards and schedules for compliance with environmental laws. These agreement are legally bindings nd include consent order and compliance agreements, federal facilities agreements, and federal facility compliance agreements. compound: A substance formed by the union of two or more elements. concentration: The quantity of a substance per unit volume or weight. Examples: amount of a chemical in drinking water or air; amount of poison relative to an organism (for example, amount per unit of blood volume). decision analysis: Any of the several techniques that attempt to provide decision-makers with information about the implications of

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Building Consensus Through Risk Assessment and Management of the Department of Energy's Environmental Remediation Program alternative possible decisions. Benefit-cost analysis is probably the most familiar form of decision analysis. decommissioning: process of removing a facility from operation. decontamination: removal of unwanted radioactive material from plants, soil, or equipment by chemical or mechanical processes or other techniques. default options: Inputs or assumptions to the risk assessment that are used absent specific data. These options may be based on generalized experience or data and are often purposely chosen as upper-bound estimates of the predictors of risk to protect against underestimation of risk. Thus this practice conserves resources by not necessarily requiring that tests be done but it also places value on specific and detailed data for answering the questions at hand. de minimis contamination limit: A level of contamination below which the effects are not considered by regulators to warrant regulatory control. disposal: waste emplacement designed to ensure isolation of waste from the biosphere, with no intention of retrieval for the foreseeable future, and requiring deliberate action to regain access to the waste. dose: The amount of a contaminant that is absorbed or deposited in the body of an exposed organism for an increment of time--usually from a single medium. Total dose is the sum of doses received by a person from a contaminant in a given interval resulting from interaction with all environmental media that contain the contaminant. Units of dose and total dose (mass) are often converted to units of mass per volume of physiological fluid or mass of tissue.

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Building Consensus Through Risk Assessment and Management of the Department of Energy's Environmental Remediation Program dose-response: A quantitative relationship between the dose of a substance (e.g., a chemical) and an effect caused by the substance. dose-response assessment: A component of risk assessment that describes the quantitative relationship between the amount of exposure to a substance and the extent of injury or disease. dose-response curve: A graphical presentation of the relationship between degree of exposure to a substance (dose) and observed biological effect or response. ecosystem: The interacting system of a biological community and its nonliving environment. endpoint: A biological effect used as an index of the effect of a substance on an organism. environment: Comprises air, water, food, and soil media. Regarding air, it refers to all indoor and outdoor microenvironments, including residential and occupational settings. environmental fate: The destiny of a substance (e.g., a chemical) after release to the environment. Involves considerations such as transport through air, soil, and water; bioconcentration; and degradation. environmental restoration: Cleaning up and restoring of sties contaminated with hazardous substances. environmental restoration management contractors: Contractors responsible for managing environmental restoration activities of the site. exposure: An event that occurs when there is contact at boundary between a human an the environment with a contaminant of a

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Building Consensus Through Risk Assessment and Management of the Department of Energy's Environmental Remediation Program specific concentration for an interval of time; the units of exposure are concentration multiplied by time. exposure assessment: Involves numerous techniques to identify the contaminant, contaminant sources, environmental media of exposure, transport through each medium, chemical and physical transformations, routes of entry to the body, intensity and frequency of contact, and spatial and temporal concentration patters of the contaminant. An array of techniques can be employed, ranging from estimating the number of people exposed and contaminant concentrations to sophisticated methodology employing contaminant monitoring, modeling, and human biological marker measurement. facility: The collection of land, buildings, roads, and other infrastructure within a particular area and referred to by a single name such as Hanford, the Savannah River Site, Rocky Flats, etc. (note that this differs from DOE's definition--see site) federal facilities compliance act (FFCA): Federal law signed in October 1992. The objective of the FFCA is to bring all Federal facilities into compliance with applicable Federal and State hazardous waste laws, to waive Federal sovereign immunity under those laws, and to allow the imposition of fines and penalties. groundwater: water occurring beneath the earth's surface that supplies wells and springs. hazard: A source of risk that does not necessarily imply potential for occurrence. A hazard produces risk only if an exposure pathway exists and if exposures create the possibility of adverse consequences. hazardous waste: As defined in the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, a solid waste, or combination of solid wastes, that because of its quantity, concentration, or physical, chemical, or

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Building Consensus Through Risk Assessment and Management of the Department of Energy's Environmental Remediation Program infectious characteristics, may cause or significantly contribute to an increase in mortality or an increase in serious, irreversible, or incapacitating reversible illness or pose a substantial present or potential hazard to human health or the environment when improperly treated, stored, transported, or disposed of, or otherwise managed. Hazardous wastes may be listed or characteristic. human health risk: The likelihood (or probability) that a given exposure or series of exposures may have damaged or will damage the health of individuals experiencing the exposures. incidence (of disease): The number of new cases of a disease, usually expressed as an incidence rate the number of new cases occurring in a population during a specified time period divided by the number of persons exposed to the disease during that period. individual lifetime risk: The estimated incremental lifetime risk of an adverse effect incurred by an individual owing to exposure to a specified concentration of a risk agent for a given time period. lifetime exposure: Total amount of exposure to a substance that a human would receive in a lifetime (usually assumed to be 70 years). microenvironment: A three-dimensional space with a volume in which contaminant concentration is spatially uniform during some specific interval. mixed waste: waste containing both radioactive and hazardous wastes as defined by the Atomic Energy Act and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, respectively. modeling: Use of mathematical equations to simulate and predict potential events and processes.

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Building Consensus Through Risk Assessment and Management of the Department of Energy's Environmental Remediation Program monitoring: Measuring concentrations of substances in environmental media or in human or other biological tissues. morbidity: Illness. mortality: Death. national priorities list: Listing of the nation's hazardous waste sites as established by CERCLA, prioritized for assessment. Native American group: Any Native American Tribe, Band, Nation, or other organized group or community, including any Alaska Native village, but not including any Alaska Native regional or village corporation, that is recognized as eligible for the special programs and service provided by the United States to Native Americans because of their status as Native Americans. nuclear weapons complex: Major facilities involve din the production and testing of nuclear weapons, operating under Department of Energy Defense programs. probability: The likelihood of an event occurring expressed as a number. public participation: The process by which the views and concerns of the public are identified and incorporated into DOE's decision-making process. quantitative: Numerical or measured information, such as the dose needed to produce an effect, or the number of people affected. radioactive waste: Solid, liquid, or gaseous material resulting from weapons production, nuclear power plants, medical uses, and industrial uses that contains radionuclides in excess of threshold quantities.

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Building Consensus Through Risk Assessment and Management of the Department of Energy's Environmental Remediation Program risk: in risk assessment, the probability that something will cause injury, combined with the potential severity of that injury. risk agent: Chemical substance, biological organism, radioactive material, or other potentially hazardous substance or activity. risk analysis: Methods of risk assessment as well as methods to best use the resulting information. risk assessment: the technical assessment of the nature and magnitude of risk. risk characterization: The final phase of the risk-assessment process that involves integration of the data and analysis involved in hazard identification, source/release assessment, exposure assessment, and dose-response assessment to estimate the nature and likelihood of adverse effects. risk estimate: A description of the probability that organisms exposed to a specified dose of a substance (e.g., a chemical) will develop an adverse response (for example, cancer). risk factor: Characteristic (such as race, sex, age, or obesity) or variable (such as smoking or occupational exposure level) associated with increased probability of a toxic effect. risk management: uses information from risk assessment and analysis together with information about technical resources, social, economic, and political values, and control or response options to determine means of reducing or eliminating a risk. The differences between risk assessment and risk management are widely debated and controversial. The controversy centers on the degree to which risk assessment can be kept free from biases or values that typically are part of management decisions.

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Building Consensus Through Risk Assessment and Management of the Department of Energy's Environmental Remediation Program risk perceptions: an important factor influencing both risk assessment and risk management. People perceive risks differently, depending on the likelihood of a hazard having adverse effects; whom it affects; how widespread, familiar, and dreaded the effects are; how a hazard affects the individuals personally, and whether they have voluntarily agreed to bear the risks. Perceptions of risk are also influenced by the benefits derived from accepting the risks. route of exposure (or entry): The avenue by which a substance (e.g., a chemical) comes into contact with an organism; such avenues include inhalation, ingestion, and dermal contact. safety: Belief that a substance will not cause injury under careful, defined circumstances of use. sensitivity analysis: A method used to examine the behavior of a model by measuring the variation in its outputs. site: A specific building, disposal site, or contaminated part of the natural environment that has some claim to attention of the remediation program (note that this differs from DOE's definition--see facility) site characterization: Technical process used to evaluate the nature and extent of environmental contamination, which is necessary for designing of remediation measures and monitoring their effectiveness. stakeholder: An individual or institution who has a stake in the outcome of the results of the action. Specific examples noted in the report include: local residents; federal, state, and local citizen groups; federal, state, and local environmental groups; Native American governments and associations; workers, unions, industry, and economic interests; federal, state, and local environmental, safety, and nuclear regulatory agencies; local, county, and state

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Building Consensus Through Risk Assessment and Management of the Department of Energy's Environmental Remediation Program government; universities and research groups; DOE “self regulators”; technical advisors and reviewers. Superfund: Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA). tri-party agreement: An interagency agreement among EPA, DOE, and the State. toxicity: The quality or degree of being poisonous or harmful to plant, animal, or human life. treatment: Any activity that alters the chemical or physical nature of a hazardous waste to reduce its toxicity, volume, mobility, or render it amenable for transport, storage, or disposal. upper-bound estimate: Estimate not likely to be lower than the true risk. values: Dimensions against which people judge their lives, relationships, and the world around them. Examples include: freedom (of person and conscience), honesty (in relationships), beauty (in people and things). waste management: all activities associated with the disposition of waste products after they have been generated, as well as actions to minimize the production of wastes. DOE has defined waste management to include waste storage, treatment, and disposal (but not transportation) and the term is used interchangeable with “waste operations” in DOE's planning documents. waste minimization: Reduction, to the extent possible, of the volume and/or toxicity of hazardous or radioactive waste prior to its treatment, storage, or disposal. waste stream: Waste leaving a facility or operation.

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Building Consensus Through Risk Assessment and Management of the Department of Energy's Environmental Remediation Program ACRONYMS AND ABBREVIATIONS ATSDR Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry CAA Clean Air Act CDC Centers for Disease Control CERCLA Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act CWA Clean Water Act DOD Department of Defense DOE Department of Energy EPA Environmental Protection Agency FFA Federal Facility Agreement NAS National Academy of Sciences NPL National Priorities List NRC National Research Council OSHA Occupational Safety and Health Administration RCRA Resource Conservation and Recovery Act SARA Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act of 1986

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