Week 15 Vocabulary for Environmental Science

Term Definition
Land pollution the degradation of Earth's land surfaces often caused by human activities and their misuse of land resources
incineration burning something to ashes to dispose of it
landfill a place where the waste is put on or in the ground and is covered with earth
Leachate The water that seeps through a landfill and comes out with various pollutants in it
Biogas mostly methane and is produced deep in landfills by the breakdown of organic matter
biodegradable capable of being broken down into harmless products
percolation movement of water down through a substance like soil or garbage
settling when the waste shifts around and compacts down-very unsteady
Hazardous waste any discarded solid or liquid that contains carcinogens, catches fire easily, is explosive or unstable, releases toxic fumes, or is corrosive to metals
Waste management based on the premise that a high volume of waste is the unavoidable result of our modern lifestyle and of economic development; objective is to manage waste and minimize its impact.
Waste prevention views waste either as material that should not be created in the first place or as a potential resource that can be used as raw material for another process; minimizing the volume of hazardous waste is key
lead poisoning sickness caused by exposure to too much lead from items such as lead-based paint or lead pipes
Cholera an infectious disease transmitted through unclean water
WHO ~ World Health Organization agency that monitors the effects of pollution and environmental factors on human health
Toxicology the study of the harmful effects of chemicals on human and environmental health
toxicants Toxic chemicals or poisons
Chemical toxicants inorganic substances such as lead, mercury, asbestos, hydrofluoric acid and chlorine gas, organic compounds such as methyl alcohol, most medications and poisons from living things
Biological toxicants bacteria and viruses that can induce disease in living organisms
Physical toxicants substances that, due to their physical nature, interfere with biological processes. Examples include coal dust and asbestos fibers both of which can be fatal if inhaled
hazards things that make you sick or cause injury
toxic poisonous
susceptibility how exposure to a toxin will affect you
ambient air pollution Outdoor air pollution
pathogen disease-causing organism
carcinogenic causes cancer
teratogenic causes developmental problems in unborn babies
mutagenic causes mutations

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