Flash Cards

Chapter 8 vocab

Term Definition
Conservation medicine discipline that attempts to understand how our environmental changes threaten our own health as well as that of the natural communities on which we depend our ecological services
Toxins poisons
Allergens substances that activate the immune system
Antigens chemical compounds to which antibodies bind; proteins that recognize and bind to foreign cells or chemicals
Sick building syndrome headaches, allergies, chronic fatigue and other symptoms caused by poorly vented indoor air contaminated by pathogens or toxins
Endocrine disruptors chemicals that disrupt normal hormone functions
Neurotoxins special class of metabolic poisons that specifically attack nerve cells (neurons)
Mutagens agents, such as chemicals and radiation, that damage or alter genetic material (DNA) in cells
Teratogens chemicals or other factors that specifically cause abnormalities during embryonic growth and development
Fetal Alcohol Syndrome a cluster of symptoms including craniofacial abnormalities, developmental delays, behavioral problems, and mental defects that last throughout a child's life
Carcinogens substances that cause cancer
Cancer invasive, out-of-control cell growth that results in malignant tumors
Bioaccumulation selective absorption and storage of a great variety of molecules by cells
Biomagnification when the toxic burden of a larger number of organisms at a lower trophic level is accumulated and concentrated by a predator in a higher trophic level
Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) chemical compounds that persist in the environment and retain biological activity for long times
Body burden the sum total of all persistent toxins in our body that we accumulate from our air, water, diet, and surroundings
Synergism interaction in which one substance exacerbates the effects of another
LD50 chemical dose lethal to 50 percent of test population
Acute effects sudden, severe effects; a single exposure to the toxin that results in immediate health crisis of some sort
Chronic effects results from a single dose of a very toxic substance, or results from continuous/repeated sublethal exposure
Risk possibility of suffering harm or loss
Risk assessment scientific process of estimating the threat that particular hazards pose to human health
Emergent diseases those not previously known or that have been absent for at least 20 years
Ecological diseases sudden and widespread epidemics that domestic animals and wildlife experience
Health state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being
Disease an abnormal change in the body's condition that impairs important physical or psychological functions
Mortality death; death rate in a population, probability of dying
Morbidity illness/disease
Disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) a measure of disease burden
Disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) a measure of premature deaths and losses due to illnesses and disabilities in a population
Environmental health focuses on external factors that cause disease, including elements of the natural, social, cultural, and technological worlds in which we live

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