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Poisoning and Environmental Health Glossary

Terms used to explain Poisoning and Environmental Health can sometimes be confusing. To help you fully understand the articles and features related to this very important health topic, we have compiled a glossary of terms that can help.

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Function: abbreviation

1 achievement age
2 Alcoholics Anonymous


Pronunciation: \ə-ˈdik-shən\

Function: noun
: compulsive physiological need for and use of a habit-forming substance (as heroin, nicotine, or alcohol) characterized by tolerance and by well-defined physiological symptoms upon withdrawal; broadly: persistent compulsive use of a substance known by the user to be physically, psychologically, or socially harmful compare habituation


Function: noun
: abnormal absence or suppression of menstruation see primary amenorrhea secondary amenorrhea


Pronunciation: \ˈan-drə-jən\

Function: noun
: a male sex hormone (as testosterone)


Function: noun
: any of various compounds that oppose the actions of histamine and are used esp. for treating allergic reactions (as hay fever), cold symptoms, and motion sickness

Artificial Insemination

artificial insemination
Function: noun
: introduction of semen into part of the female reproductive tract (as the cervical opening, uterus, or fallopian tube) by other than natural means


Pronunciation: \ˈblas-tə-ˌsist\

Function: noun
: the modified blastula of a placental mammal


Pronunciation: \brän-ˈkīt-əs, bräŋ-\
Function: noun
1: acute or chronic inflammation of the bronchial tubes; also: a disease marked by this

Carbon Monoxide

carbon monoxide
Function: noun
: a colorless odorless very toxic gas CO that burns to carbon dioxide with a blue flame and is formed as a product of the incomplete combustion of carbon


Pronunciation: \ˈkat-ə-ˌrakt\

Function: noun
: a clouding of the lens of the eye or its surrounding transparent membrane that obstructs the passage of light

Chemical Dependence

chemical dependence
Function: noun
: addiction to or dependence on drugs


Pronunciation: \sə-ˈrō-səs\

Function: noun
pl -rho*ses
Pronunciation: \-ˌsēz\

: widespread disruption of normal liver structure by fibrosis and the formation of regenerative nodules that is caused by any of various chronic progressive conditions affecting the liver (as long-term alcohol abuse or hepatitis) see biliary cirrhosis

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Function: noun
1: see: cognitive therapy


Pronunciation: \ˌkän-trə-ˈsep-shən\

Function: noun
: deliberate prevention of conception or impregnation


Pronunciation: \di-ˈnī(-ə)l\

Function: noun
: a psychological defense mechanism in which confrontation with a personal problem or with reality is avoided by denying the existence of the problem or reality


Pronunciation: \-ənt\

Function: adjective
: tending to depress; esp: lowering or tending to lower functional or vital activity <a drug with a depressant[1] effect on heart rate>


Pronunciation: \(ˈ)dē-ˈtäks\

Function: noun

1often attrib: detoxification from an intoxicating or addictive substance <began performing ultra rapid detox[1]esCarol Ann Campbell & Fredrick Kunkle> <a detox[1] program> <a detox[1] clinic>
2: a detox program or facility <spent five days in detox[1] at a local hospital Karl Ross>

Dilation And Curettage

dilation and curettage
Function: noun
: a medical procedure in which the uterine cervix is dilated and a curette is inserted into the uterus to scrape away the endometrium (as for the diagnosis or treatment of abnormal bleeding or for surgical abortion during the early part of the second trimester of pregnancy) —called also D&C


Function: noun
: painful menstruation see spasmodic dysmenorrhea

Ectopic Pregnancy

ectopic pregnancy
Function: noun

: gestation elsewhere than in the uterus (as in a fallopian tube or in the peritoneal cavity) —called also ectopic gestation, extrauterine gestation, extrauterine pregnancy


Pronunciation: \-lət\

Function: noun
: the semen released by one ejaculation


Pronunciation: \ˌem(p)-fə-ˈzē-mə, -ˈsē-\
Function: noun
1: a condition characterized by air-filled expansions in interstitial or subcutaneous tissues; specif: a condition of the lung that is marked by distension and eventual rupture of the alveoli with progressive loss of pulmonary elasticity, that is accompanied by shortness of breath with or without cough, and that may lead to impairment of heart action


Pronunciation: \-ˈmē-trē-əm\

Function: noun
pl -tria
Pronunciation: \-trē-ə\
: the mucous membrane lining the uterus that is composed of three layers see stratum basale stratum compactum stratum spongiosum


Pronunciation: \ˈes-trə-jən\

Function: noun
: any of various natural steroids (as estradiol) that are formed from androgen precursors, that are secreted chiefly by the ovaries, placenta, adipose tissue, and testes, and that stimulate the development of female secondary sex characteristics and promote the growth and maintenance of the female reproductive system; also: any of various synthetic or semisynthetic steroids (as ethinyl estradiol) that mimic the physiological effect of natural estrogens


Pronunciation: \ˈeth-ə-ˌnol, -ˌnōl\

Function: noun
: a colorless volatile flammable liquid C2H5OH that is the intoxicating agent in liquors and is also used as a solvent —called also ethyl alcohol, grain alcohol, see alcohol 1

Fallopian Tube

fallopian tube
Function: noun
often cap F: either of the pair of tubes that carry the eggs from the ovary to the uterus —called also uterine tube

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

fetal alcohol syndrome
Function: noun
: a highly variable group of birth defects including mental retardation, deficient growth, central nervous system dysfunction, and malformations of the skull and face that tend to occur in the offspring of women who consume large amounts of alcohol during pregnancy abbr. FAS


Pronunciation: \ˌjin-jə-ˈvīt-əs\

Function: noun
: inflammation of the gums


Pronunciation: \-ˌō-vər\

Function: noun
: disagreeable physical effects (as headache or nausea) following heavy consumption of alcohol or the use of drugs

Heart Attack

heart attack
Function: noun
: an acute episode of heart disease marked by the death or damage of heart muscle due to insufficient blood supply to the heart muscle usu. as a result of a coronary thrombosis or a coronary occlusion and that is characterized esp. by chest pain —called also myocardial infarction, compare angina pectoris coronary insufficiency heart failure 1

Heart Disease

Function: noun
1: an abnormal organic condition of the heart or of the heart and circulation


Pronunciation: \ˌhī-pə-ˌrak-ˈtiv-ət-ē\

Function: noun
pl -ties
: a state or condition of being excessively or pathologically active; esp: see: attention deficit disorder


Pronunciation: \hip-ˈnō-səs\

Function: noun
pl -no*ses
Pronunciation: \-ˌsēz\

1: a trancelike state of altered consciousness that resembles sleep but is induced by a person whose suggestions are readily accepted by the subject
2: any of various conditions that resemble sleep
3: see: hypnotism 1


Pronunciation: \ˌhis-tə-ˈrek-tə-mē\

Function: noun
pl -mies
: surgical removal of the uterus see ovariohysterectomy panhysterectomy radical hysterectomy supracervical hysterectomy


Pronunciation: \in-ˈsäm-nē-ə\

Function: noun
: prolonged and usu. abnormal inability to obtain adequate sleep —called also agrypnia


Pronunciation: \ˌint-ər-ˈven-chən\

Function: noun
: the act or fact or a method of interfering with the outcome or course esp. of a condition or process (as to prevent harm or improve functioning) <relieving a variety of serious arrhythmias by surgical intervention G. M. Lawrie et al> <develop interventions to prevent substance abuse A. Kline et al>


Pronunciation: \in-ˌtäk-sə-ˈkā-shən\

Function: noun

1: an abnormal state that is essentially a poisoning <hypokalemia potentiates digoxin intoxication W. H. Abelmann et al> <no evidence of cocaine intoxication Margaret M. McCarron et al> <acute carbon monoxide intoxication>
2: the condition of being drunk : see: inebriation

Macular Degeneration

macular degeneration
Function: noun
: progressive deterioration of the macula lutea resulting in a gradual loss of the central part of the field of vision; esp: see: age-related macular degeneration


Pronunciation: \ˈmeth-ə-ˌdōn\

Function: noun
: a synthetic addictive narcotic drug used esp. in the form of its hydrochloride C21H27NO·HCl for the relief of pain and as a substitute narcotic in the treatment of heroin addiction —called also amidone


Pronunciation: \mis-ˈkar-ij\

Function: noun
: spontaneous expulsion of a human fetus before it is viable and esp. between the 12th and 28th weeks of gestation compare abortion 1a


Pronunciation: \när-ˈkät-ik\

Function: noun

1: a drug (as codeine, methadone, or morphine) that in moderate doses dulls the senses, relieves pain, and induces profound sleep but in excessive doses causes stupor, coma, or convulsions
2: a drug (as marijuana or LSD) subject to restriction similar to that of addictive narcotics whether in fact physiologically addictive and narcotic or not


Pronunciation: \ˈno-zē-ə, -sē-ə; ˈno-zhə, -shə\

Function: noun
: a stomach distress with distaste for food and an urge to vomit


Pronunciation: \ˌn(y)ur-ō-tran(t)s-ˈmit-ər, -tranz-\

Function: noun
: a substance (as norepinephrine or acetylcholine) that transmits nerve impulses across a synapse see false neurotransmitter


Pronunciation: \ˈnik-ə-ˌtēn\

Function: noun
: a poisonous alkaloid C10H14N2 that is the chief active principle of tobacco and that is used as an insecticide


Pronunciation: \ˈō-vər-ˌdōs\

Function: noun
: too great a dose (as of a therapeutic agent) <an overdose[1] of exposure to the sun Morris Fishbein> ; also: a lethal or toxic amount (as of a drug)


Pronunciation: \n(y)u-ˈmō-nyə\
Function: noun
1: a disease of the lungs that is characterized esp. by inflammation and consolidation of lung tissue followed by resolution, is accompanied by fever, chills, cough, and difficulty in breathing, and is caused chiefly by infection see bronchopneumonia lobar pneumonia primary atypical pneumonia


Pronunciation: \ˈpreg-nən-sē\

Function: noun
pl -cies

1: the condition of being pregnant
2: an instance of being pregnant

Prescription Drug

prescription drug
Function: noun
: a drug that can be obtained only by means of a physician's prescription


Pronunciation: \ˌsī-kō-ˈther-ə-pē\

Function: noun
pl -pies

1: treatment of mental or emotional disorder or maladjustment by psychological means esp. involving verbal communication (as in psychoanalysis, nondirective psychotherapy, reeducation, or hypnosis)
2: any alteration in an individual's interpersonal environment, relationships, or life situation brought about esp. by a qualified therapist and intended to have the effect of alleviating symptoms of mental or emotional disturbance


Pronunciation: \ri-ˈlaps, ˈrē-ˌ\

Function: noun
: a recurrence of illness; esp: a recurrence of symptoms of a disease after a period of improvement <a relapse[1] after an 18-month remission M. T. Fosburg et al> compare recrudescence

Side Effect

side effect
Function: noun
: a secondary and usu. adverse effect (as of a drug) <toxic side effects> <a side effect of drowsiness caused by antihistamines> —called also side reaction


Pronunciation: \ˈspərm\

Function: noun
pl sperm
or sperms

1: the male impregnating fluid : see: semen
2: a male gamete; esp: see: spermatozoon


Pronunciation: \ˈsti(ə)r-ˌoid also ˈste(ə)r-\

Function: noun
: any of numerous natural or synthetic compounds containing a 17-carbon 4-ring system and including the sterols and various hormones and glycosides see anabolic steroid


Pronunciation: \ˈstres\

Function: noun

1 a: a force exerted when one body or body part presses on, pulls on, pushes against, or tends to compress or twist another body or body part; esp: the intensity of this mutual force commonly expressed in pounds per square inch
b: the deformation caused in a body by such a force
2 a: a physical, chemical, or emotional factor that causes bodily or mental tension and may be a factor in disease causation
b: a state of bodily or mental tension resulting from factors that tend to alter an existent equilibrium
3: the force exerted between teeth of the upper and lower jaws during mastication


Pronunciation: \ˈstrōk\

Function: noun
1: sudden diminution or loss of consciousness, sensation, and voluntary motion caused by rupture or obstruction (as by a clot) of a blood vessel of the brain —called also apoplexy, brain attack, cerebral accident, cerebrovascular accident


Pronunciation: \täk-ˈsis-ət-ē\

Function: noun
pl -ties
: the quality, state, or relative degree of being toxic or poisonous


Pronunciation: \-ˈdro(ə-)l\

Function: noun

1 a: a pathological retreat from objective reality (as in some schizophrenic states)
b: social or emotional detachment
2 a: the discontinuance of administration or use of a drug
b: the syndrome of often painful physical and psychological symptoms that follows discontinuance of an addicting substance <a heroin addict going through withdrawal>
3: see: coitus interruptus

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