TOXMAP Glossary of Terms

Acute toxicity Environmental fate On-site release
Aggregate EPA Reference data
AMPD Form A Release medium
ATSDR FRS (Facility Registry Service) Response
Base map GIS Risk
Bookmarks Gross load Risk assessment
Browse Heat input SARA
CAS (Chemical Abstracts Service) HRS (Hazard Ranking System) Search
CERCLA HSDB® SIS
CERCLIS Latitude Spatial data
Chronic toxicity Layer Superfund
Clean Air Markets Longitude TEHIP
Contaminant Males to 100 Females Topography
Coordinates Map projection Topology
Dataset Median age Toxicity
Demographic data Metadata Toxicology
DHHS NCHS TOXLINE®
Diversity index NCI SEER TOXMAP®
Dose NPL (National Priorities List) TOXMAP classic
EIA NPRI TOXNET®
Environment Nuclear power plants TRI

Other toxicology-related glossaries:

Glossary for Chemists of Terms Used in Toxicology (National Library of Medicine®)

Glossary of Terms (Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry)

Terms and Acronyms (Environmental Protection Agency)



Acute toxicity

The capacity of a biologically active agent to cause serious harm, injury, or death to a living system following a single dose or a single brief exposure.


top

Aggregate

The grouping together of a selected set of like entities (usually adjacent) to form one entity.

All TRI release amounts are aggregates in pounds of chemicals released to all environmental media (e.g., air, water, land, underground injection). TOXMAP shows only on-site releases.


top

AMPD

Air Markets Program Data is a publicly-available EPA data system for searching and downloading data collected as part of EPA's emissions trading programs.


top

ATSDR

The ATSDR (Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry) is a federal public health agency of the US Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). The ATSDR provides health information related to prevention of harmful exposures and diseases related to toxic substances.


top

Base map

A map depicting background reference information such as landforms, roads, landmarks, and political boundaries, onto which other thematic information is placed. TOXMAP supports three base maps: Streets, Aerial (satellite), and Topographic (terrain). You can change your base map to achieve a different look, or to provide better contrast against other map data.


top

Bookmarks

In TOXMAP, Bookmarks zoom the map to a pre-set location. You can also save and name your current map area as a bookmark so that you can zoom to it later. Only the map area is preserved, not the data on the map. Bookmark data are saved only on your local computer.


top

Browse

In TOXMAP, users can "browse" TOXMAP data via the Map Contents side panel, turn map layers on and off, pan and zoom the map, and get details by clicking on points on the map. When browsing, search results are unavailable.


top

CAS (Chemical Abstracts Service)

Chemical Abstracts Service, a division of the American Chemical Society is an abstracting and indexing service for chemical scientific literature. This service assigns a unique Registry Number (RN) to chemical substances, which are often known by more than one name.


top

CERCLA

The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), commonly known as Superfund, was enacted by Congress on December 11, 1980. This law created a tax on the chemical and petroleum industries and provided broad Federal authority to respond directly to releases or threatened releases of hazardous substances that may endanger public health or the environment. CERCLA was amended by the Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act (SARA) on October 17, 1986.


top

CERCLIS

The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Information System (CERCLIS) is an EPA database containing information on hazardous waste sites, potentially hazardous waste sites, and associated remedial activities across the nation. It was retired in November 2013 and replaced by SEMS.


top

Chronic toxicity

The capacity of a biologically active agent to produce toxic effects following long-continued or numerous brief exposures, or to produce effects which persist whether they occur immediately upon exposure or are delayed.


top

Clean Air Markets (CAMD)

The Clean Air Markets Division of EPA includes several market-based regulatory programs designed to improve air quality and ecosystems.

See the "What is the EPA Clean Air Markets Program?" FAQ.


top

Contaminant

A substance that is either present in an environment where it does not belong or is present at levels that might cause harmful (adverse) health effects; any physical, chemical, biological, or radiological substance or matter that has an adverse effect on air, water, or soil.


top

Coordinates

A set of numbers that locates the position of a point on a map, usually represented by (x,y) values.


top

Dataset

A collection of related data records on a computer-readable medium. In TOXMAP, "dataset" refers to the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI), Superfund, NPRI, or demographic data.


top

Demographic data

Factual information pertaining to the study of the characteristics of human populations, such as size, growth, density, distribution, and vital statistics. TOXMAP allows users to overlay demographic data (e.g., US Census, cancer mortality, income) over environmental data.


top

DHHS

The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) is the United States government's principal agency for protecting the health of all Americans and providing essential human services, especially for those who are least able to help themselves. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is an agency of the DHHS. The National Library of Medicine® (NLM) is an Institute of the NIH.


top

Diversity index

In demographics, a quantitative measure that answers the question, "What are the chances that any two people chosen at random in a given area will be of two different races?" A racially diverse area will have a higher diversity index than that of a uniform population.


top

Dose

The total amount of a chemical administered to, or taken by, an organism.


top

EIA

According to their web site, the EIA (US Energy Information Administration) collects, analyzes, and disseminates independent and impartial energy information to promote sound policymaking, efficient markets, and public understanding of energy and its interaction with the economy and the environment. Coal plants in TOXMAP link to their record in the EIA Electricity Data Browser.


top

Environment

The surroundings, including water, air, soil, and their inter-relationships as well as relationships between them and any living organism.


top

Environmental fate

The result/outcome of the chemical or biological pollutant after it has been released into the natural environment. The fate depends upon the specific characteristics of the chemical and the physical and biological forces which may act upon that chemical, such as heat, water or soil microorganisms.


top

EPA

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is the federal agency designed to protect human health and the environment. The EPA produces the TRI database, which contains information on toxic chemical releases.


top

Form A

EPA's TRI Form A provides certain facilities the option of submitting a substantially shorter reporting form. Not all facilities are eligible to submit Form A reports; this has varied over the years. Eligibility has been based on the annual reportable amount of the chemical, such as the sum of production-related releases and other waste management and the amount manufactured, processed, or otherwise used.

For more information on Form A, search the EPA TRI FAQ.


top

FRS (Facility Registry Service)

The Facility Registry Service (FRS) is a centrally managed database from the EPA that identifies facilities, sites or places subject to environmental regulations or of environmental interest. TOXMAP plots the location of most TRI facilities using addresses and coordinates from the FRS.


top

GIS

GIS (Geographic Information System) is a means of storing, displaying, and analyzing data that can be referenced geographically.


top

Gross Load

The rate of electrical generation of a unit or source produced by combusting a given heat input of fuel. Measured in either Megawatts or Megawatt-hours (MW-h).


top

Heat Input

The measure of utilization that is calculated by multiplying the quantity of fuel by the fuel's heat content. It is measured in MMBtu (million British Thermal Units), a unit of energy equal to about 1055 joules.


top

HRS (Hazard Ranking System)

The Hazard Ranking System (HRS) is a numerically based screening system that uses information to assess the relative potential of sites to pose a threat to human health or the environment. The HRS is used by the EPA to place uncontrolled waste sites on the National Priorities List (NPL).


top

HSDB®

HSDB (Hazardous Substances Data Bank) is a database from the National Library of Medicine (NLM) with comprehensive, peer-reviewed toxicology data for thousands of chemicals. It contains a broad scope in human and animal toxicity, safety and handling, and environmental fate.

See also the HSDB Fact Sheet.


top

Latitude

The angular distance in degrees north or south from the equator of a point on the Earth's surface.


top

Layer

Visual representation of a geographic dataset in any digital map environment. Roads, national parks, political boundaries and rivers are examples of layers.


top

Longitude

The angular distance in degrees east or west from the Prime Meridian (Greenwich, England) of a point on the Earth's surface.


top

Males to 100 Females

A method used by demographers to measure the relative number of males and females in a population. The male-to-female sex ratio is calculated by dividing the number of males (of all ages) by the number of females (of all ages) and multiplying by 100. A value above 100 means there are more males than females in the population. A value below 100 indicates more females than males.


top

Map projection

A map projection is a way to represent the curved surface of the Earth on the flat surface of a map. TOXMAP uses a map projection (called "Web Mercator") that has been adopted as an online map industry standard.

You can learn more about map projections from the USGS.


top

Median age

The median divides the age distribution into two equal parts: one-half of the cases falling below the median age and one-half above the median.


top

Metadata

Metadata is data that describes other data. It provides additional information about the data that the GIS uses, which is not included in the data itself. The adoption of metadata standards promotes consistency in the naming, defining, operating, and cataloging of data among different entities.


top

NCHS

The National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), part of the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is the principal US health statistics agency, providing data to identify and address health issues. It provides the mortality data used by NCI SEER.


top

NCI SEER

The Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) "works to provide information on cancer statistics in an effort to reduce the burden of cancer among the US population." TOXMAP health data comes from the SEER*Stat database. Underlying mortality data is provided to SEER by the NCHS


top

NPL (National Priorities List)

The National Priorities List (NPL) contains the most serious uncontrolled or abandoned hazardous waste sites throughout the United States and its territories.

The EPA designates several NPL statuses for Superfund sites: Proposed, Final, Deleted, Withdrawn, and Removed. Other Superfund sites are not on the NPL. TOXMAP contains data only on sites designated as Final (currently on the final NPL), Proposed (proposed for the NPL), and Deleted (deleted from the final NPL). These three statuses are collectively referred to by the EPA as the "NPL Dataset".


top

NPRI

The National Pollutant Release Inventory (NPRI) is Canada's legislated, publicly accessible inventory of pollutant releases (to air, water and land), disposals and transfers for recycling. See the NPRI web site for more information.


top

Nuclear power plants

Nuclear power plants contain one or more power reactors that rely on nuclear reactions to generate electricity. TOXMAP shows commercial nuclear power plants from data obtained from the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC).


top

On-site release

In TRI, a toxic chemical release that is located on the generating site (such as via a smokestack). This is in contrast to off-site releases (e.g., transfer to a location other than the generating site) that are reported to the TRI program but not included in TOXMAP. To view off-site release data, see TOXNET/TRI.


top

Reference data

Data drawn on a map that helps to identify the position of physical features in relation to other information. For example, cities, roads, and state boundaries.


top

Release medium

Means by which a substance is released into, or enters, the environment (e.g. air, land, water, underground injection). TOXMAP shows only on-site releases.


top

Response

In toxicology, the effect-- if any-- that a chemical has on a living organism. The response is related to the chemical dose and to the resulting concentration of the chemical in the organism.


top

Risk

The probability that a hazard or effect will occur at a specific level of exposure to a substance.


top

Risk assessment

How scientists determine the likelihood that a harmful effect will happen at a specific level of exposure to a substance.


top

SARA

The Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act (SARA) amended the CERCLA, also know as Superfund, on October 17, 1986. SARA reflected EPA's experience in administering the complex Superfund program during its first six years and made several important changes and additions to the program.


top

Search

In TOXMAP, users can search TRI and Superfund data with the Search tool. Results are displayed graphically on the map and in a table in the Search Results side panel. When viewing search results, map layers in the Map Contents side panel are unavailable.


top

SIS

The Specialized Information Services (SIS) Division of the National Library of Medicine (NLM) creates information resources and services in toxicology, environmental health, chemistry, HIV/AIDS, and specialized topics in minority health. SIS produces databases such as TOXMAP, TOXNET, and HSDB.


top

Spatial data

Information about the location and shape of, and relationships among, geographic features. This includes remotely sensed data as well as map data. It is usually stored as coordinates and topology.


top

Superfund

Superfund is the Federal government's program to clean up the nation's uncontrolled hazardous waste sites. It is operated under the legislative authority of CERCLA and SARA that funds and carries out EPA solid waste emergency and long-term removal and remedial activities.


top

TEHIP

The Toxicology and Environmental Health Information Program (TEHIP) of the National Library of Medicine (NLM) creates, organizes, and disseminates toxicology and environmental health information.

See the TEHIP Fact Sheet for more information.


top

Topography

Graphic representation of the surface features of a place or region on a map, indicating their relative positions and elevations.


top

Topology

The relative location of geographic phenomena independent of their exact position. In digital data, topological relationships such as connectivity, adjacency and relative position are usually expressed as relationships between nodes, links and polygons. Topology is useful in GIS because many spatial modeling operations require topological information rather than co-ordinates.


top

Toxicity

The degree to which a chemical substance (or physical agent) elicits an adverse effect on the biological system of an organism exposed to the substance over a designated time period. Acute toxicity stems from a single dose or single exposure, while chronic toxicity results from long-continued or numerous brief exposures.


top

Toxicology

The study of the adverse effects of chemical or physical agents on living organisms and biological systems.


top

TOXLINE®

TOXLINE is the NLM's bibliographic database for toxicology. It provides access to extensive references to the literature on biochemical, pharmacological, physiological, and toxicological effects of drugs and other chemicals. TOXLINE references are drawn from a variety of sources.

See the TOXLINE Fact Sheet for more information.


top

TOXMAP®

TOXMAP is a web site from the National Library of Medicine (NLM) that uses maps of the United States and Canada to help you explore hazardous waste sites, on-site releases of certain toxic chemicals, and other environmental and demographic data. TOXMAP does NOT show all sources of toxic chemicals in the environment.

TOXMAP requires the Adobe® Flash® Player, a free plug-in for all major web browsers. TOXMAP classic is an alternative to the Flash-based TOXMAP. However, although TOXMAP classic will receive data updates, it will receive no further enhancements.

See also "What is TOXMAP?" and the TOXMAP Fact Sheet.


top

TOXMAP classic

TOXMAP classic is an alternative to the Flash-based TOXMAP. Although TOXMAP classic will receive data updates, it will receive no further enhancements.

See also "Which version of TOXMAP should I use?"


top

TOXNET®

TOXNET (TOXicology Data NETwork) is a group of databases covering toxicology, hazardous chemicals, environmental health and related areas.

See also the TOXNET FAQ and the TOXNET Fact Sheet.


top

TRI

The Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) is a publicly available EPA database that contains information on toxic chemical releases and other waste management activities reported annually by certain covered industry groups as well as federal facilities.

See also "Learn about the Toxics Release Inventory" for more information.


top























This space intentionally left blank.