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Glossary

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Elevated blood lead level: A child with one venous blood specimen of 5 mcg/dL, or any combination of two capillary and/or unknown blood specimens of 5 mcg/dL drawn within 12 weeks of each other.

Emergency department: A hospital or primary care department that provides initial treatment to patients with a broad spectrum of illnesses and injuries, some of which may be life-threatening and require immediate attention.

Environmental data: Many different kinds of environmental data exist. Some provide concentrations of chemicals or other substances and in the land, water, or air that people might be exposed to, the data are used to evaluate exposures to these chemicals. Other data provide information about events or facilities that might cause possible environmental exposures but do not provide enough detail to evaluate exposures. These data are often used to make decisions or set priorities for future environmental health data gathering or regulatory activities.

Environmental epidemiology: The study of the effect on human health of physical, biological, and chemical factors in the external environment. Can include examining specific populations or communities exposed to different ambient environments to clarify the relationship between environmental factors and human health.

Environmental hazards: Situations or conditions in which something in the environment, such as radiation, a chemical, or other pollutant, can cause human illness or injury.

Environmental health: The branch of public health that is concerned with understanding how the environment affects human health. The environment is the air we breathe, our water, our surroundings, and our food, it is the chemical, physical, and biological toxins that have contact with us every day. Understanding how we interact with the environment is complicated, as is understanding how the environment may affect our health.

Environmental justice: The fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, national origin, color or income when developing, implementing and enforcing environmental laws, regulations and policies. Fair treatment means that no group of people, including a racial, ethnic, or socioeconomic group, should bear more than its share of negative environmental impacts.

Environmental monitoring: The measurement of a material in the environment at regular time intervals. Monitoring for contaminants often involves collecting an environmental sample, such as stream water, preparation of the sample in the laboratory, and analysis of the prepared sample.

Environmental public health: Focuses on the relationships between people and their environment, promotes human health and well-being, and fosters a safe and healthful environment.

Environmental public health indicator: Provides information about a population's health status with respect to environmental factors. It can be used to assess health or a factor associated with health, such as a risk factor or an intervention, in a specified population through direct or indirect measures.

Environmental Public Health Tracking: The ongoing collection, integration, analysis, and interpretation of data about environmental hazards, exposure to environmental hazards, and human health effects potentially related to exposure to environmental hazards. It includes dissemination of information learned from these data.

Environmental toxicology: Scientific analysis of the relationship between exposure to hazardous substances found in the environment and adverse health effects in people.

Exposure: Contact with a chemical by swallowing, breathing, or direct contact (such as through the skin or eyes). Exposure may be short term (acute) or long term (chronic). As part of its mission to protect human life and the environment, EPA conducts research to characterize, predict and diagnose human and ecosystem exposure to harmful pollutants and other conditions in the air, water, soil, dust and food.

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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