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Glossary

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Background level: An average or expected amount of a substance or radioactive material in a specific environment, or typical amounts of substances that occur naturally in an environment.

Benchmark: A standard by which other things can be measured. It sometimes means the best or most desirable value of the variable.

Bias: Any trend in the collection, analysis, interpretation, publication, or review of data that can lead to conclusions that are systematically different from the truth.

Biomonitoring: The direct measurement of people's exposure to toxic substances in the environment by measuring the substances or their metabolites in human specimens, such as blood or urine.

Birth defects: A birth defect is a problem that happens while the baby is developing in the mother’s body. Most birth defects happen during the first 3 months of pregnancy. A birth defect may affect how the body looks, works, or both. It can be found before birth, at birth, or any time after birth. Birth defects can vary from mild to severe.

Birth weight: The first weight of the newborn obtained after birth.

Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey (BRFSS): CDC random digit dial telephone survey performed on a state-by-state basis. The BRFSS is designed to question randomly-selected, non-institutionalized people ages 18 and older about health and behavioral issues. Topics include: Demographics, General health measures (health status, health insurance, quality of life and care giving, height, weight), Health conditions (such as diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, oral health, asthma, cardiovascular disease, arthritis), Risk behaviors such as smoking, alcohol use, physical inactivity, diet, excess weight, Health services utilization (breast, cervical, prostate, or colorectal cancer screenings and influenza or pneumococcal vaccinations.)

Blood Lead Level (BLLs): A measure of lead in the body. It is traditionally reported as the number of micrograms of lead per deciliter of blood (µg/dL)

Blood lead level test date: The date blood was taken for a blood lead level test. When this date is not available, it refers to the earliest date from the following: date blood sample was tested, date of blood lead result report, or date the blood sample was received by laboratory.

Blood lead test result: A quantifiable value of lead detection from a blood lead test reported in micrograms per deciliter (mcg/dL). The CDC uses a threshold blood lead level (BLL) of 5 mcg/dL to identify children living in environments that expose them to lead hazards.

Bronchitis: An inflammation of the airways to the lungs. It causes a cough that produces a lot of mucus, shortness of breath, and chest tightness.

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New Hampshire Environmental Public
Health Tracking Program
NH Department of Health and Human Services,
Division of Public Health Services
29 Hazen Drive  |  Concord, NH 03301
(603) 271-4988  |  (800) 852-3345 ext.4988