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FDA - U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which is involved in regulation of pesticides in the U.S., particularly enforcement of tolerances in food and feed products.

FFDCA - Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act is the law which controls pesticide residues in food and feed, along with FIFRA.

FIFRA - The Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act was enacted in June 25, 1947. The Act instructs the EPA to regulate: 1) the registration of all pesticides used in the United States, 2) the licensing of pesticide applicators, 3) re-registration of all pesticide products, 4) the storage, transportation, disposal and recall of all pesticide products. FIFRA's home page provides many more details.

FQPA - The Food Quality Protection Act was enacted on Aug. 3, 1996 to ensure the safety of food in the United States. The FQPA home page will provide more detailed information.

fecal coliform bacteria - Found in the intestinal tracts of mammals, this bacteria in water or sludge is an indicator of pollution and possible contamination by pathogens.

feedstock - Raw material supplied to a machine or processing plant from which other products can be made. For example, polyvinyl chloride and polyethylene are raw chemicals used to produce plastic tiles, mats, fenders, cushions, and traffic cones.

flammable - Describes any material that can be ignited easily and that will burn rapidly.

flash point - The lowest temperature at which evaporation of a substance produces enough vapor to form an ignitable mixture with air.

floodplain - Mostly level land along rivers and streams that may be submerged by floodwater. A 100-year floodplain is an area which can be expected to flood once in every 100 years.

fugitive emissions - Air pollutants released to the air other than those from stacks or vents; typically small releases from leaks in plant equipment such as valves, pump seals, flanges, sampling connections, etc.

fumigants - Produce gas or vapor intended to destroy pests in the house or in the ground

fungicides - A pesticide used to control or destroy fungi on food or grain crops.

fungus - Funguses, or fungi, are types of plants that have no leaves, flowers or roots. Both words, funguses and fungi, are the plural of fungus.

fungicide - A pesticide used to control fungi.

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garbage - Food waste (animal and vegetable) resulting from the handling, storage, packaging, sale, preparation, cooking, and serving of foods.

generator - A facility or mobile source that emits pollutants into the air; any person who produces a hazardous waste that is listed by EPA and therefore subject to regulation.

grab sample - A single sample of soil or of water taken without regard to time or flow.

ground water - Water found below the surface of the land, usually in porous rock formations. Ground water is the source of water found in wells and springs and is used frequently for drinking.

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Hazard Communication Standard - An OSHA regulation that requires chemical manufacturers, suppliers, and importers to assess the hazards of the chemicals they make, supply, or import, and to inform employers, customers, and workers of these hazards through a Material Safety Data Sheet.

hazardous chemical - EPA's designation for any hazardous material that requires a Material Safety Data Sheet. Such substances are capable of producing adverse physical effects (fire, explosion, etc.) or adverse health effects (cancer, dermatitis, etc.)

hazardous waste - A subset of solid wastes that pose substantial or potential threats to public health or the environment and meet any of the following criteria:

  • is specifically listed as a hazardous waste by EPA;
  • exhibits one or more of the characteristics of hazardous wastes (ignitability, corrosiveness, reactivity, and/or toxicity);
  • is generated by the treatment of hazardous waste; or is contained in a hazardous waste.

hazardous waste landfill - A specially permitted, excavated or engineered area in which hazardous waste is deposited and covered. Proper protection of the environment from the materials to be deposited in such a landfill requires careful site selection, the cataloging of types of wastes, good design (including a liner and a leachate collection and treatment system), proper operation, and thorough final closure.

health assessment - An evaluation of available data on existing or potential risks posed by a Superfund site. Every site on the National Priorities List has a health assessment prepared by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry.

heavy metal - A common hazardous waste; can damage organisms at low concentrations and tends to accumulate in the food chain.

herbicide - A pesticide designed to control or kill plants, weeds, or grasses. Almost 70% of all pesticide used by farmers and ranchers are herbicides. These chemicals have wide-ranging effects on non-target species.

home and garden user sector (or market) - Involves pesticides applied by homeowners to homes and gardens, including lawns; single and multiple unit housing. Does not include pesticides for home/garden applications by professional applicators.

household or domestic waste - Solid waste, composed of garbage and rubbish, which normally originates from residential, private households, or apartment buildings. Domestic waste may contain a significant amount of toxic or hazardous waste from improperly discarded pesticides, paints, batteries, and cleaners.

hydraulic gradient - The direction of ground water flow due to changes in the depth of the water table.

hydrocarbons - Chemicals that consist entirely of hydrogen and carbon. Hydrocarbons contribute to air pollution problems like smog.

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impoundment - A body of water or sludge confined by a dam, dike, floodgate, or other barrier.

incineration - The destruction of solid, liquid, or gaseous wastes by controlled burning at high temperatures. Hazardous organic compounds are converted to ash, carbon dioxide, and water. Burning destroys organics, reduces the volume of waste, and vaporizes water and other liquids the wastes may contain. The residue ash produced may contain some hazardous material, such as non-combustible heavy metals, concentrated from the original waste.

incinerator - A furnace for the routine burning of waste materials using controlled flame combustion.

incompatible waste - A waste unsuitable for mixing with another waste or material because of reactivity hazards.

index chemical - A chemical used as the point of reference for standardizing the common toxicity of the chemical members of the CAG.

indoor air - Breathing air inside a habitable structure, often highly polluted because of lack of exchange with fresh oxygen from outdoors. Solvents, smoke, paints, furniture glues, carpet padding, and other synthetic chemicals trapped inside contribute to an often unhealthy environment.

industrial/commercial/governmental user sector(or market) - Involves pesticides applied by professional applicators (by owner/operators/employees and custom/commercial applicators) to industrial, commercial and governmental facilities, buildings, sites, and land; plus custom/commercial applications to homes and gardens, including lawns. May also be referred to as “professional market” for pesticides.

industrial waste - Unwanted materials produced in or eliminated from an industrial operation and categorized under a variety of headings, such as liquid wastes, sludge, solid wastes, and hazardous wastes.

inert ingredients - Substances that are not "active," such as water, petroleum distillates, talc, corn meal, or soaps. When discussing pesticides, inert ingredients do not attack a particular pest, but some are chemically or biologically active, causing health and environmental problems.

infectious waste - See definition for Medical Waste.

incidental take - The number of animals that are harmed or killed as a result of pesticide application.

insecticide - A pesticide compound specifically used to kill or prevent the growth of insects.

Integrated Pest Management (IPM) - The use of pest and environmental information in conjunction with available pest control technologies to prevent unacceptable levels of pest damage by the most economical means and with the least possible hazard to persons, property and the environment.

irradiated food - Food that has been briefly exposed to radioactivity (usually gamma rays) to kill insects, bacteria, and mold. Irradiated food can be stored without refrigeration or chemical preservatives and has a long "shelf life."

irritant - A substance that can cause irritation of the skin, eyes, or respiratory system. An irritant can cause an acute effect from a single high-level exposure, or chronic effects from repeated, low-level exposures. Some examples of irritants are chlorine, nitric acid, and various pesticides.

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lagoon - A shallow, artificial treatment pond where sunlight, bacterial action, and oxygen work to purify wastewater; a stabilization pond. An aerated lagoon is a treatment pond that uses oxygen to speed up the natural process of biological decomposition of organic wastes. A lagoon is regulated as a point source under the Clean Water Act if there is a direct surface water discharge. Some lagoons that discharge into ground water also are regulated if they have a direct hydrogeologic connection to surface water. In other areas, lagoons were historically used to dump various liquid, solid, and hazardous wastes from manufacturing or industrial processes. These wastes typically flooded and polluted surrounding environs or seeped underground. Such lagoons are now regulated under RCRA but some must be cleaned up under Superfund.

landfill - A method for final disposal of solid waste on land. The refuse is spread and compacted and a cover of soil applied so that effects on the environment (including public health and safety) are minimized. Under current regulations, landfills are required to have liners and leachate treatment systems to prevent contamination of ground water and surface waters. An industrial landfill disposes of non-hazardous industrial wastes. A municipal landfill disposes of domestic waste including garbage, paper, etc. This waste may include toxins that are used in the home, such as insect sprays and powders, engine oil, paints, solvents, and weed killers.

leachate - Liquid (mainly water) that percolates through a landfill and has picked up dissolved, suspended, and/or microbial contaminants from the waste. Leachate can be compared to coffee: water that has percolated down through the ground coffee.

Lethal Concentration 50 (LC 50) - A concentration of a pollutant or effluent at which 50% of the test organisms die; a common measure of acute toxicity.

Lethal Dose 50 (LD 50) - The dose of a toxicant that will kill 50% of test organisms within a designated period of time. The lower the LD 50, the more toxic the compound.

Lowest Observed Adverse Effect Level (LOAEL) - The lowest dose in a toxicity study resulting in adverse health effects.

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