The process of taking in. For a
person or an animal, absorption is the process of a substance getting into the
body through the eyes, skin, stomach, intestines, or lungs.
Glossary of Terms
Bioaccumulation is used to describe the increase in concentration of a
substance in an organism over time.
Bioaccumulative substances tend to be fat
soluble and not to be broken down by the
(Source: GreenFacts )
Having to do with the heart and lungs.
- Digestive tract
The digestive tract is the system of organs which takes in food, digests it to
extract energy and nutrients and expels remaining waste. It includes the mouth,
salivary glands, esophagus, stomach, pancreas, liver, gallbladder, small
intestine, large intestine, and rectum.
After food is chewed and swallowed, the digestive juices released by the
pancreas and stomach break it down into substances that are readily absorbed
through the small intestine. Material that is not taken up by the body collects
in the large intestine, forming faecal matter that is then excreted through the
The liver is a big reddish-brow organ lying beneath the diaphragm on the right
side. The liver is made up for a great part of liver cells which absorb
nutrients and detoxify and remove harmful substances from the blood such as
drugs and alcohol. The liver has many other vital functions and there is
currently no way to compensate for the absence of liver.
Other liver functions include:
- controlling levels of fats, amino acids and glucose in the blood
- fighting infections in the body, particularly infections arising in
- manufacturing bile, a kind of digestive juice which aids in the
digestion of fats
- storing iron, certain vitamins and other essential chemicals
- breaking down food and turning it into energy
- manufacturing, breaking down and regulating numerous hormones
- making enzymes and proteins which are responsible for most chemical
reactions in the body, for example those involved in blood clotting and
repair of damaged tissues.
- Mammary glands
The milk-producing glands of female mammals. These glands typically begin
secreting milk when young are born.
Rudimentary mammary glands are generally also found in males, but they cease
development well before puberty.
The conversion or breakdown of a substance from one form to another by an
(Source: GreenFacts, based on ATSDR
A substance that is the product of biological changes to a chemical.
A polymer is a high-molecular-weight organic compound, natural or man-made,
consisting of many repeating simpler chemical units or molecules called
Examples of natural polymers are proteins (polymer of amino acids) and
cellulose (polymer of sugar molecules).
An example of synthetic polymer is PVC (a polymer of vinyl chloride).
- Scientific Committee on Emerging and Newly Identified Health Risks
The Scientific Committee on Emerging and Newly Identified Health Risks
(SCENIHR) was set up in 2004 by the European Commission to provide the
Commission with unambiguous scientific advice on the safety of a series of
issues requiring a comprehensive assessment of the risks, such as new
technologies, medical devices, etc.
The SCENIHR advice is intended to enable risk managers to take the adequate
and required actions in order to guarantee consumer safety or public health.
The SCENIHR addresses questions concerning emerging or newly-identified risks
and on broad, complex or multi-disciplinary issues requiring a comprehensive
assessment of risks to consumer safety or public health and related issues not
covered by other Community risk- assessment bodies.
The Scientific Committee on Emerging and Newly Identified Health Risks is
composed of a maximum of 13 members, but for any specific question may enlist
the support of up to six associated members selected on the basis of their
expertise. There is also a reserve list made up of candidates found suitable for
a position in a Scientific Committee but not appointed. The members of the
SCENIHR are appointed on the basis of their skills and experience in the fields
in question, and consistent with this a geographical distribution that reflects
the diversity of scientific problems and approaches in the European Union (EU).
The experts' term of office is three years and is renewable for a maximum of
three consecutive times. In agreement with the Commission, the Scientific
Committees may turn to specialised external experts.
The SCENIHR complies with the principles of independence, transparency and
confidentiality. The members therefore make a declaration of commitment to act
in the public interest and a declaration of interests; requests for opinions,
agendas, minutes and opinions are published; work and publications are done with
regard to the need for commercial confidentiality.
- Tolerable Daily Intake
A TDI is an estimate of the amount of a substance in air, food or drinking
water that can be taken in daily over a lifetime without appreciable health
risk. TDIs are calculated on the basis of laboratory
toxicity data to which
factors are applied.
TDIs are used for substances that do not have a reason to be found in food (as
opposed to substances that do, such as additives, pesticide residues or
veterinary drugs in foods- see ADI).
The capacity or property of a substance to cause adverse effects.