Health / Disease Glossary
Population: A group or number of people living within a specified area or sharing similar characteristics (such as occupation or age).
Potentially Responsible Party (PRP): A company, government, or person legally responsible for cleaning up the pollution at a hazardous waste site under Superfund. There may be more than one PRP for a particular site.
Prevalence: The number of instances of a given disease or other condition in a given population at a designated time. Cf incidence.
Prevalence Survey: The measure of the current level of disease(s) or symptoms and exposures through a questionnaire that collects self-reported information from a defined population.
Prevention: Actions that reduce exposure or other risks, keep people from getting sick, or keep disease from getting worse.
Prokarytote: An organism lacking a true nucleus, such as a bacteria (cf eukaryote)
Propagated Epidemic: A propagated epidemic occurs when an infection is spread from person to person (either directly or via a vector). cf common source and mixed epidemics.
Protozoa: Single-celled eukaryotic organisms
Public Availability Session: An informal, drop-by meeting at which community members can meet one-on-one with ATSDR staff members to discuss health and site-related concerns.
Public Comment Period: An opportunity for the public to comment on agency findings or proposed activities contained in draft reports or documents. The public comment period is a limited time period during which co . . . View Full Definition
Public Health Advisory: A statement made by ATSDR to EPA or a state regulatory agency that a release of hazardous substances poses an immediate threat to human health. The advisory includes recommended measures to . . . View Full Definition
Public Health Assessment (PHA): An ATSDR document that examines hazardous substances, health outcomes, and community concerns at a hazardous waste site to determine whether people could be harmed from coming into contact w . . . View Full Definition
Public Health Hazard: A category used in ATSDR's public health assessments for sites that pose a public health hazard because of long-term exposures (greater than 1 year) to sufficiently high levels of hazardous . . . View Full Definition
Public Health Hazard Categories: Public health hazard categories are statements about whether people could be harmed by conditions present at the site in the past, present, or future. One or more hazard categories might be . . . View Full Definition
Public Health Statement: The first chapter of an ATSDR toxicological profile. The public health statement is a summary written in words that are easy to understand. The public health statement explains how people mi . . . View Full Definition
Public Health Surveillance: The ongoing, systematic collection, analysis, and interpretation of health data. This activity also involves timely dissemination of the data and use for public health programs.
Public Meeting: A public forum with community members for communication about a site.
Quinsy: An acute inflammation of the tonsils, often leading to an abscess
R-Plasmid: A plasmid carrying genes controlling resistance to various drugs.
Radioisotope: An unstable or radioactive isotope (form) of an element that can change into another element by giving off radiation.
Radionuclide: Any radioactive isotope (form) of any element.
Reassortment: A mixing of the genetic material of two similar viruses that are infecting the same cell.
Receptor Population: People who could come into contact with hazardous substances [see exposure pathway].
Recovered Or Removed Category: Individuals in the SIR model who were infected by the disease but are no longer infectious by virtue of their recovery and immunity or death.
Reference Dose (Rfd): An EPA estimate, with uncertainty or safety factors built in, of the daily lifetime dose of a substance that is unlikely to cause harm in humans.
Word of the Day:
Fragrance: The sensation of the gases released from ground coffee as they are inhaled through the nose. Ranges from sweetly floral to sweetly spicy.