gas: popular term for a gas that, once released into
the atmosphere, interferes with the loss of heat by radiation from
the Earth, causing the planet's temperature to rise. Two of the best-known
greenhouse gases are methane (CH4) and carbon dioxide (CO2); others
include nitrous oxide, CFCs.
the purchasing of products or services that have a reduced impact
on the environment.
Water existing beneath the earth's surface in aquifers or underground
Group of 77 (G-77):
caucus of developing countries at the United Nations started in 1964 by 77 countries. The G-77 now has 131 members, but retains the name.
half-life: the amount of
time required for a radioactive substance to lose 1/2 its radioactivity.
halons: simple hydrocarbon derivatives
in which bromine, chlorine and fluorine are substituted for hydrogen
atoms. Halons have been utilized principally in fire extinguishers.
They are targeted for control and phase-out under the Montreal Protocol.
hazardous preparation: mixture or solution
composed of two or more substances that, taken together, pose a threat
to public health and/or the environment.
substance: any substance that poses a threat to public
health and/or the environment. Most regulatory definitions include
all those substances determined to be toxic, corrosive, ignitable,
explosive or chemically reactive.
waste that can pose a substantial or potential hazard to human health
and the environment. These wastes have at least one of four characteristics:
ignitability, corrosivity, reactivity, toxicity.
claim: in food law, a claim made in food labeling or
promotion that asserts or implies a relationship of the food and/or
its components to a disease or health-related condition.
heavy metals: metallic elements with an atomic
number greater than 20, as in cadmium, chromium, copper, lead, mercury,
and zinc. Heavy metals damage living things at low concentrations
and tend to accumulate in the food chain.
a chemical pesticide designed to control or destroy grasses, weeds,
household hazardous wastes:
items commonly found in households that, upon disposal, can become
hazardous wastes due to their ignitability, corrosivity, reactivity
or toxicity. Examples include: adhesives; latex and oil-based paints;
paint thinners and strippers; grease and rust solvents; wood and metal
cleaners; nail polish and removers; cosmetics; household polishes
and cleaners; oven cleaners; drain openers; lighter fluids; fungicides;
wood preservatives; insecticides; herbicides; rat poisons; used oil
and oil filters; fuel injection and carburetor cleaners; antifreeze;
spent batteries; broken thermometers.
(HFCs): chemicals developed as a substitute for CFCs
mostly used in refrigeration and insulating foam. Although they are
less harmful to the ozone layer, their global warming potential has
been shown to be anywhere from 140 to 11,700 times that of CO2.