Environmental Health & Safety - Vocabulary

  1. Brownfields
    Abandoned or underutilized industrial, commercial properties with perceived or actual environmental contamination.
  2. UST (Underground Storage Tank)
    A container with more than 10% of its volume underground, including the contents of connected pipes.
  3. Superfund
    The nickname for the CERCLA (Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act).
  4. Greenhouse Gas
    A source of possible air pollution - due to the greenhouse effect - that is regulated under the CAA (Clean Air Act). These gases can affect the earth's energy balance because they trap heat in the atmosphere and raise global temperatures.
  5. Source Reduction and Closed-Loop Recycling
    The most desirable pollution prevention actions.
  6. Common Law
    An unwritten law, based oncustom and precedent, developed in England, that is the basis for the legal system in the United States, except Louisiana.
  7. Statutory Law
    A law enacted byt he legislative act of a government.
  8. Toxic Tort Actions
    These actions differ from ordinary negligence actions in that they are usually caused by one or more manufacturers of environmentally harmful materials, and the harmful event may occur years before the harm becomes evident.
  9. GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter)
    A device that stops the flow of electricity by opening or breaking the circuit when a current-to-ground flow is detected.
  10. Local Emphasis Programs
    The inspection of a specific industry, such as academia or food service, initiated by an OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) area director.
  11. Opening Conference
    The beginning of a site visit during which the officer explains the nature of the visit, the scope of the inspection, and the applicable standards.
  12. Walk-Through Type
    Describes a thorough OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) inspection that involves worker interviews about safety-related issues and reviews of pertinent or required records or injuries, illnesses, and written programs.
  13. Closing Conference
    A conference held after a site inspection during which the employer and employees discuss rights, obligations, violations, feasible remedy schedules, and hazard abatement techniques.
  14. Confined Space
    An area that has a limited or restricted means of entry or exit and that is large enough and so configured that an employee can enter the space and perform assigned work. Further, an area that is not designed for continuous employee occupancy.
  15. Permit-Required Confined Spaces
    Areas that contain, or have the potential to contain, a hazardous atmosphere, any serious safety hazard, and/or a risk of engulfing or trapping an entrant.
  16. Toxic
    Derived from the Latin word for poison, the atmospheric concentration of any substance for which OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) has established a PEL (Permissible Exposure Limit)
  17. PEL (Permissible Exposure Limit)
    A PEL is the maximum concentration of a substance a person may be exposed to without suffering adverse effects, based on a TWA (time-weighted average) of eight hours.
  18. Oxygen-Deficient Atmosphere
    An atmosphere that contains less than 19.5 % oxygen or less than an ambient concentration.
  19. Explosive/Flammable
    Describes a hazardous atmosphere in which fuel or oxygen and an ignition or heat source combine to generate a fire or an explosion.
  20. LEL (Lower Exposure Limit) or LFL (Lower Flammable Limit)
    The lowest concentration or percentage of vapor in the air that will combust when a heat source is introduced.
  21. UEL (Upper Explosive Limit) or UFL (Upper Flammable Limit)
    The highest concentration or percentage of vapor in the air that will produce a flash or fire when ignited.
  22. STEL (Short-Term Exposure Limit)
    The safe exposure to harmful air contaminants limit as defined by OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration)
  23. Air-Purifying Respirators
    Respirators that have filters to remove airborne contaminants.
  24. Negative Pressure Air-Purifying Respirators
    Respirators that require the user to create negative air pressure inside the face piece of relative to the air outside the mask by simply inhaling.
  25. Positive pressure air-purifying respirators
    Respirators that protect the wearer by creating positive air pressure inside the face piece by using battery packs and air pumps.
  26. Occupational Injury
    An injury that results from a work accident or from a single exposure in the work environment.
  27. Hazardous Chemicals
    Any chemical that is a health or physical hazard.
  28. HAZCOM
    OSHA's Hazard Communication Standard. This standard ensures that employees are informed of the possible harmful effects of chemicals in the workplace.
  29. Toxic
    Derived from the Latin word for poison, the atmospheric concentration of any substance for which OSHA has established a PEL (permissible exposure limit). A PEL is the maximum concentration of a substance a person may be exposed to without suffering adverse health effects, based on a TWA (time-weighted average) of eight hours.
  30. Acute
    Describes immediate reactions, such as sneezing, coughing, or lightheadedness, because of exposure to chemicals.
  31. Chronic
    Describes reactions that happen gradually because of long-term exposure to chemicals.
  32. LEL (Lower Explosive Limit) or LFL (Lower Flammable Limit)
    The lowest concentration or percentage of vapor in the air that will combust when a heat source is introduced.
  33. UEL (Upper Explosive Limit) or UFL (Upper Flammable Limit)
    The highest concentration or percentage of vapor int he air that will produce a flash or fire when ignited.
  34. Potential Exposure
    The likelihood that an employee will come into contact with a chemical by any method of exposure.
  35. Contractor Notification Form
    A document to be signed by contractcors before they are allowed to work at any facility which verifies that the contractor has been notified of all chemical hazards in the workplace and of the location of all relevant MSDS sheets.
  36. Asbestos
    The name given to a group of naturally occurring fibrous magnesium-mineral silicates.
  37. ACM (Asbestos-Containing Material)
    Any material composed of more than 1% asbestos.
  38. Friable
    A material that can be crushed, crumbled, or pulverized by hand pressure; nonfriable is material that cannot.
  39. PACM (Presumed Asbestos-Containing Materials)
    Resilient floor coverings, TSI (thermal system insulations), and spray-applied troweled-on surfacing material installed in buildings before 1981. Building owners and managers must presume that these materials are asbestos and treat them as such until inspections and tests by accredited personnel prove otherwise.
  40. Asbestos Abatement
    Remedial actions employed to prevent fibers from being released from ACM (asbestos-containing material), or to remove the materials entirely.
  41. PEL (permissible exposure limit).
    A limit set by OSHA (the Occupational Safety and Health Administration) that defines how much of a substance a person may be exposed to over a specific time period.
  42. EL (Excursion Limit)
    A limit that allows for brief, specific exposures above the PEL. If an EL is not set, it generally does not matter how high a short exposure is, as long as the time-weighted average is below the PEL.
  43. Pigments
    CHemcials that have color or properties that affect color.
  44. Blood Lead Level
    The amount of lead absorbed into the bloodstream.
  45. Body Burden
    The amount of lead stored in the body.
  46. Lead Abatement
    The comprehensive process of eliminating a current or possible source of lead. This could include worker protection, containment measures, cleanup, disposal and testing.
  47. Acute Effect
    Occures when a person is poisoned as a result of exposure to a single, high-level source of lead.
  48. Chronic Effect
    Occurs when a person is poisoned as a result of the cumulative effects of repeated exposure to one or several low-level sources of lead.
  49. AAS (Atomic Absorption Spectrometry) and ICP (Inductivelky Coupled Plasma)-Atomic Emission Spectrometry
    Two instrumentation methods commonly used to identify and quantify metals.
  50. XRF (X-Ray Fluorescence Analysis)
    A method that measures the activity of lead electrons excited by a radioactive source.
  51. Apparent Lead Concentration
    The initial XRF (x-ray fluorescence analysis) reading from a painted substrate (surface). This reading may include lead in botht he paint and the underlyling substitute.
  52. Substrate-Effect Lead
    The lead found by taking readings from a particular substrate (surface) after removing a small section of the paint layers to expose the bare mineral.
  53. Corrected Lead Concentration
    An amount calculated by subracting the substrate-effecct lead fromt he apparent lead concentration.
  54. Personal Exposure Monitoring
    A method of detection using a mixed cellulose-ester filter medium and a low-volume sampling pump in a two- or three-piece cassette filter holder.
  55. Enironmental Area Sampling
    A method of detection that employs a high-volume sampling pump and PM10 Filters.
  56. Blanks
    Unexposed testing smaples that are used to determine whether contamination occured before or after collection.
  57. Split Samples
    Duplicate homogenous portions of the same sample that are analyzed separately. The test results are compared for quality assurance and quality control purposes.
  58. In-Place Management
    A method that reduces the chance of exposure to lead by leaving the lead where itw as found and enclosing, encapsulating, or covering it.
  59. HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Arresting)
    Describes a unit that forces air through high-efficiency filters designed to remove hazardous substances such as lead-contaminated dust and asbestos fibers.
  60. Encapsulant
    A material that forms a durable coating/covering when applied to surfaces and components containing hazardous materials such as lead and asbestos.
  61. Human Factors Requirements
    Requirements that are related to all aspects of the body and the senses.
  62. RSI (Repetitive Stress Injury)
    An injury that is the result of one or more repetitive motions that gradually affect a worker.
  63. CTD (Cumulative Trauma Disorder)
    Refers to any of several physical problems, including RSI's that can result from repitition or overuse.
  64. Biomechanical work methods
    Methods of work that require the movement of the body.
  65. Oxygen Uptake
    The amount of oxygen absorbed by the body of a specified period of time.
  66. Human Factors Design
    Refers to the relationship between a human being and the form and function of the building design. As with human factors requirements, human factors design considers all aspects of the body and the senses.
  67. Musculoskeletal System
    The system that includes all muscles, bones, and cartilages of the body.
  68. TOS (Thoracic Outlet Syndrome)
    A group of disorders that affect the nerves that pass into the arms from the neck.
  69. De Quervian's Disease
    Tendonitis at the base of the thumb.
  70. Lumbar Spine
    The lower five vertebra of the spine above the tailbone.
  71. Tenosynovitis
    Inflammation of a tendon and its protective sheath.
  72. Near Miss
    An OSHA target statistic that refers to the "almost was an accident" scenario.
  73. Commissioning
    The testing and adjusting of HVAC, electrical, plumbing, or other systems to assure proper functioning and adherence to design criteria agreed upon by various professionals and the building owner. This process also includes instruction of the building owner and/or manager in the proper operation of systems.
  74. SBS (Sick Building Syndrome)
    Describes workers' general discomfort, adverse reactions, or nonspecific sicknesses that appear to be linked to the time they spend in a particular building.
  75. BRI (Building-Related Illness)
    Specific, diagnosable illnesses, with identifiable symptoms, directly caused by airborne building pollutants.
  76. Dose Response
    An individual's response to a specific amount of and exposure time to a specific compound or agent.
  77. Acute Doses
    Exposures to large quantities of compounds and/or agents over short periods of time.
  78. Chronic Doses
    Exposures to small quantities of compounds and/or agents over long periods of time.
  79. Odor Threshold Value
    The minimum amount of gaseous material that can be detected by thge olfactory organs.
  80. Allergen
    A biological material that elicits an allergic response from an individual based on that individual's sensitivity to the material.
  81. Systemic Effects
    Effects that are not isolated to a single organ or group of organs in the body.
  82. Hypersensitivity Disease
    An immunte response, such as asthma, caused by pollutants.
  83. Fomites
    Inanimate objects (clothes, books, furniture to name a few) that may be contaminated with infectious organisms and may aid in the transmission of those organisms.
  84. Biotoxins
    Biological compounds that are produced by microorganisms and that can be toxic.
  85. Multiple Chemical Sensitivity
    Extreme reactions to a number of chemcials, even at very low concentrations.
  86. Susceptible Receptor
    A preson who, because of age, sensitivities, prevous exposure, or current health, may be easily affected by BRI (building-related illness).
  87. VOC (Volatile Organic Compound)
    A compound that evaporates, is gaseous at room temperature, and is released from used or stored products. For exmple, formaldehyde often off-gases from building materials such as carpeting, flooring, drapes, furniture, and partitions.
  88. Entrainment
    The capture of part of the surrounding air by an air stream that is introduced into a space from an HVAC outlet or vent.
  89. ETS (Environmental Tobacco Smoke)
    An exmple of indoor air pollution. ETS affects the respiratory health of nonsmokers.
  90. TLV (Threshold Limit Value)
    A value that estimates the level of exposure to a chemical that a worker can endure before experiencing injury or illness. This value does not necessarily take into account different methods of exposure.
  91. BEI (Biological Exposure Index)
    A value that indicates the concentration of a chemical in the biological tissue of a worker when the TLV (threshold limit value) for that chemical is reached.
  92. Criteria Pollutants
    Substances for which the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) established standards under the 1970 CAA (Clean Air Act) Amendments.
  93. NAAQSs (National Ambient Air Quality Standards)
    Established by the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), these standards set ambient concentrations for the criteria pollutants that will protect human health and welfare.
  94. HAP (Hazardous Air Pollutants)
    A chemcial for which the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) has set emission standards.
  95. CFC (Chlorofluorocarbon)
    An ozone-depleting compound containing chlorine, fluorine, and carbon (the latter two are chiefly used as lubricants in making resins and plastics).
  96. Operating Permit
    A construction permit required before or shortly after equipment begins operation.
  97. VOC (Volatile Organic Compound)
    A compound that evaporates, is gaseous at room temperature, and is released from used and/or stored products. Formaldehyde that off-gasses from building materials such as carpeting, flooring, drapes, furniture, and partitions is a common example.
  98. HCFC (Hydrochlorofluorocarbon)
    An ozone-depleting chemical containing hydrogen, carbon, fluorine, and chlorine. Because the ozone-depletion potential of HCFCs is much smaller than that of CFCs, HCFCs are replacing CFCs in many industries.
  99. Greenhouse Gases
    A source of possible air pollution created by the greenhouse effect that is regulated under the CAA (Clean Air Act). These gasses can affect the Earth's climate because they trap heat and raise temperatures.
  100. Attainment
    A designation given to areas that consistently meet NAAQSs. (National Ambient Air Quality Standards). This term is also used to describe the goal of areasthat consistently do not meet NAAQSs or nonattainment areas.
  101. NSPSs (New Source Performance Standards)
    Standards defined by the EPA for several industries that are sources of the criteria pollutants.
  102. MACT (Maximum Achievable Control Technology) Emission Standards
    Emission standards created for small-area facilities that produce air pollutants.
  103. PSD (Prevention of Significant Deterioration) and Federal Operating Permits
    Construction permits that are often thought of as being required by the EPA. However, in most cases, they are actually issued by the state.
  104. Cap-and-Trade Program
    A market-based air emission control program for sulfur dioxied established under Title IV of the Clean Air Act (CAA).
  105. Air Permit
    A central regulatory enforcement tool that establishes limits for specific types of air pollution, techniques for air pollution control, and requirements for monitoring air pollution.
  106. Construction Permit
    A permit issued before construction begins and after designs and specifications for equipment are approved by a regulatory agency.
  107. Criminal Penalties
    Penalties enforced by the EPA and imposed on companies that violate federal regulations under the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments.
  108. Air Emission Inventory
    A document that identifies the types and sources of pollutants created by a facility.
  109. Regulatory Review
    The process of comparing all possibly applicable pollution regulations to the equipment used at a specific facility.
  110. Green Programs
    Voluntary environmental programs that promote prevention and conservation, reduce pollution, and sometimes save money for participating companies.
  111. Point Source Discharge
    Occurs when water has been discharged at the end of a pipe.
  112. Non-Point-Source Discharge
    Occurs when stormwater runs accross the ground into a stream or a natural body of water.
  113. Direct Discharge
    Occurs when stormwater or other wastewater from a facility is discharged directly to a natural body of water.
  114. Indirect Discharge
    Occurs when stormwater or other wastewater from a facility is indirectly discharged to a natural body of water.
  115. Process Wastewater
    Water used during any manufacturing process which is then disposed of.
  116. Potable Water
    Water that is suitable for drinking.
  117. Plumbing
    An interior water distribution system.
  118. Fixture
    Device used to control the flow and use of water such as faucets, toilets, and hose connections.
  119. Direct Point Source Discharge
    A processed wastewater discharge into a lake or river or into the groundwater (subsurface water).
  120. Indirect Point Source Discharge
    A processed wastewater discharge into a municipal sewer system.
  121. UST (Underground Storage Tank)
    A container that has more than 10 percent of its volume underground, including the contents of connected pipes.
  122. AST (Aboveground Storage Tank)
    A container that has less than 10 percent of its volume underground, including the contents of connected pipes.
  123. Operators
    Officers, shareholders, partners, individuals, and successor corporations responsible for managing, operating, or leasing a property where hazardous materials are leased, stored, treated, or disposed.
  124. Tightness Testing
    A category of non-destructive test methods that detect leaks in storage tanks. These types of tests are also referred to as "precision," "volumetric," and "nonvulmetric" tests.
  125. Interstitial Monitoring
    Checking for changes in the annular space of a double-walled tank.
  126. Annular Space
    The space between the two cylindrical walls of a double-walled tank.
  127. Acute Hazardous Waste
    Highly poisonous waste.
  128. P-List Wastes
    Highly toxic chemical wasts, such as those from cyanide and arsenic compunds and those from certain pesticides and herbicides.
  129. F-List
    A list that identifies wastes generated by nonspecific industries during common manufacturing processes.
  130. K-List
    A list that identifies wastes generated by specific industries and industrial sources during common manufacturing processes.
  131. U-List
    A list that identifies many industrial products, such as chloroform (classified as U044) and creosote (classified as U051).
  132. TCLP (Toxic Characteristic Leaching Procedure)
    A laboratory method of testing for toxic waste that simulates acid rain conditions. This simulation shows what leaches out of landfill waste and could contaminate groundwater.
  133. Treatment, Storage, and/or Disposal Facility
    Facilities regulated under the RCRA (Resource Conservation and Recovery Act) that treat, store (for more than 90 days), or dispose of solid wastes on site.
  134. Accumulation Start Date
    The date that the filling of a container begins. This date starts the clock for deadlines on hazardous waste transfer, treatment, and/or disposal.
  135. Accumulation Storage Area
    A place where hazardous waste can be stored while arrangements are being made for its treatment and/or disposal.
  136. Satellite Storage Area
    A place near the point of waste generation where no more than 55 gallons of hazardous waste or 1 quarte of acute hazardous waste can be stored.
  137. Uniform Hazardous Waste Manifest
    A legal document used when hazardous waste is transported off-site. This manifest identifies the type and quantity of hazardous waste, the transporters, and the destination facility.
  138. Environmental Health & Safety Emergency
    Any condition that could cause panic, injury, significant detrimental health effects, or death, and/or loss of property use, or significant damage to a property or facility.
  139. HAZWOPER (Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response)
    This standard (OSHA Standard 29 CFR 1910.120) is designed to protect employees who respond to the releases of hazardous materials.
  140. SARA (Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act)
    An act that amended CERCLA (Comprehensive Environmental Resopnse, Compensation and Liability Act) in 1986. SARA addresses the safety and health of the community at large.
  141. Anticipated Emergency
    An emergency that should be included in an emergency response plan. When evaluating such an emergency, a facility owner or manager should envision a reasonably predictable worst-case scneareo, determine the potential for the emergency in that scenario, and then plan responses accordingly.
  142. Incidental Release
    The release of a hazardous substance that can be absorbed, neutralized, or otherwise controlled by employees in the immediate vicinity.
  143. LEPC (Local Emergency Planning Committee)
    A local committee that must develop a community emergency response plan, specifying emergency response methods and procedures to be followed by facility owners, local emergency responders, and emergency personnel.
  144. TPQ (Threshold Planning Qualities)
    Determined by the EPA, the exposure level at which a chemical is known to be harmful in an uncontrolled release.
  145. Incident Commander
    Sometimes called a facility emergency coordinator, a senior emergency response official who assumes control of the incident scne beyond the first responder awareness level wand who takes charge of the incident command system.
  146. Precipitation
    The process of adding a solution to a chemcial spill to encourage dilution.
  147. Superfund
    The nickname for CERCLA (Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act)
  148. Phase I ESA (Phase 1 Environmental Site Assessment)
    A process that identifies RECs (Recognized Environmental Conditions) through the evaluation of current and prior activities involving the use, storage, treatment, or disposal of hazardous materials.
  149. Environmental Audit
    A process often used during legal proceedings to evaluate a facility's operational compliance with environmental regulations.
  150. Environmental Compliance Audits
    A process used by private and governmental facilities to help confirm the effectiveness of environmental management systems and to identify compliance issues.
  151. Due Diligence
    An independent investigation of data and/or facts relating to the transfer of property. This inquiry is an effort to identify potential environmental contamination areas.
  152. Contamination
    The presence of chemical substances (including such petroleum productgs as gasoline or fuel oil as well as other classified hazardous materials) at a proepty in quantities above regulatory limits or thresholds. This situation creates an increased risk to human health and/or the environment.
  153. Groundwater
    Water that is below the earth's surface in the zone of saturation.
  154. Innocent Landowner Defense
    A claim used by a property or facility buyer that exempts the buyer from liability in the event that the property is determined to have been contaminated by hazardous substances prior to the sale.
  155. EMS (Environmental Management System)
    A system created by property or facility owners or managers that manages, maintains, and monitors environmental issues related to a facilty or parcel of property.
  156. RCRA (Resource Conservation and Recovery Act)
    Enacted in 1976, this legislation establishes rules pertaining to hazardous waste generators and transporters, as well as to owners and managers of hazardous waste treatment, storage, and disposal facilities.
  157. PRP (Potentially Responsible Party)
    A party, other than the current owner of a property or facility, who may have contributed to the environmental hazards at that site. These parties may include tenants, contractors, prevous owners, and/or owners of neighboring properties.
  158. Joint and Several Liability
    A legal term indicating that one PRP (potentially responsible party) can be held liable for the entire cost of cleaning up a site even if that PRP contributed only a small amount to the overall contamination. This Superfund provision ensures that the public at large isn't burdened with the cost in the event that the other PRP's are unable to pay for cleanup.
  159. Uniform Hazardous Wate Manifest
    A legal document used when hazardous waste is transported off site. This manifest identifies the type and quantity of hazardous waste, the transporters, and the destination facility.
  160. Small-Quantity Generators
    Any generator that produces more than 100 kilograms (220 lbs) but less than or equal to 1,000 kilograms (approximately 2,200 lbs) or hazardous waste per month.
  161. Greenfields
    Environmentally valuable land, such as public parks and farmland, that has not been residentially or industrially developed.
  162. VOC (Volatile Organic Compound)
    A compound that evaporates, is gaseous at room temperature, and is released from used or stored products. For exmaple, formaldehyde often off-gasses from building materials such as carpeting, flooring, furniture, and partitions.
  163. Soil Boring
    A method of drilling through the earth to collect soil samples and install monitoring-well equipment.
  164. Monitoring Well
    A perforated pipe that is installed in a water-bearing subsurface zone, or aquifier. This equipment enables an investigator to obtain a representative smaple of groundwater to confirm the presence or absence of contamination in that area.
  165. Sand Filter Pack
    A layer of sand between the outside wall of the monitoring well casing and the arth boring, placed below the bentonite seal. This pack allows access to groundwater or soil gas.
  166. Bentonite Seal
    An expandable clay (bentonite) seal used to form an impermeable layer above the sand filter pack of the monitoring well.
  167. Concrete Seal
    A poured concrete cap that is usually near the surface of a monitoring well. This seal secures the placement of the well.
  168. RAP (Remedial Action Plan)
    A plan created by a property owner or responsible party that specifies the selected remedial actions that will protect the public from a threatened or actual release of hazardous substances and the timetable for implementing those remedial actions.
Card Set
Environmental Health & Safety - Vocabulary
Environmental Health & Safety - Vocabulary