The International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) established
a COMMISSION ON TOXICOLOGY, within the framework
of the Clinical Chemistry Section, in 1973. Like other IUPAC bodies,
the Commission was concerned to promote world-wide "regulation,
standardization, or codification" in relevant areas of chemistry.
Over the years, toxicology has grown rapidly. A need has been recognized
for globally acceptable definitions of terms used in toxicology
and ecotoxicology and this glossary was commissioned with the objective
of fulfilling that need.
The glossary is compiled primarily for chemists who now find themselves
working in toxicology or requiring a knowledge of the subject. Faced
with an extensive literature and terms that are not always defined
in accessible dictionaries, newcomers to the subject can have great
difficulty in obtaining the background knowledge essential for their
work. Further, many toxicologists, whose previous experience has
been limited to clinical and experimental toxicology, now have to
assess possible environmental effects of chemicals and need to understand
terms used in ecotoxicology. Equally, specialists in ecotoxicology
often lack knowledge of the terms used in clinical and experimental
toxicology. There are also regulators and managers who have to interpret
toxicological information and therefore need ready access to internationally
accepted definitions of relevant terms in common use.
Satisfying the requirements of the various groups now concerned
with the generation or use of toxicological knowledge is a wide
remit and hence the terms to be included in this glossary have come
from a wide range of disciplines. Many medical terms are included
because of their frequent occurrence in the toxicological literature
and because chemists would not normally be expected to be familiar
with them. Major epidemiological terms are included for the same
reason. Specialists in these and other areas may believe that such
terms can be omitted because they are well defined elsewhere. While
this glossary may err on the side of including peripheral terms,
it is believed that some redundancy of content is preferable to
the difficulties currently presented to a newcomer to toxicology
in having to consult several
dictionaries in order to make a start with the subject.
The definitions given in this glossary are believed to reflect
current usage and no attempt has been made to introduce new or "preferred"
definitions. Obsolete terms such as "cytochrome P448" have been
included because they are to be found in scientific articles which
still have relevance. For some of the entries, alternative definitions
are given because significant differences in usage have been recognized
between disciplines or even between different languages where similar
words to the English terms are used.
More people than we can name in the Acknowledgments have contributed
to this glossary and we are grateful for all the contributions that
have helped to improve each version that has been produced. Inevitably
there will still be flaws but we hope that the final version will
be sufficiently close to achieving the original objectives to justify
the very widespread support that this Working Party has enjoyed.
The active collaboration of Professor Paolo Preziosi, President
of the International Union for Toxicology (IUTOX) and of Professor
Norman Aldridge, together with the support of IUTOX in the compilation
of this glossary, has been particularly welcome and greatly appreciated
by the Working Party.
The Working Party was fortunate in having scientific support from
the International Programme on Chemical Safety, the International
Register of Potentially Toxic Chemicals and the United Nations Environment
Programme which allowed IUPAC to use published and unpublished material.
The Working Party acknowledges the support of The Royal Society
of Chemistry, London, GBR, in permitting the use in the original
drafts of definitions from its books, "Toxic Hazard Assessment of
Chemicals", and "Risk Assessment of Chemicals in the Environment",
both edited by M.L. Richardson. The Regional Office for Europe of
the World Health Organization also generously permitted incorporation
of definitions from Environmental Health Publication 10, "Environmental
Toxicology and Ecotoxicology", edited by J.H. Duffus. We are particularly
grateful to Professor J.M. Last, the International Epidemiological
Association, and Oxford University Press for permission to quote
definitions from "A Dictionary of Epidemiology", Second Edition.
We are also grateful to the Association of Clinical Biochemists
Scientific Committee who kindly reviewed a draft of the glossary
and annotated it with their suggestions.
The Working Party exchanged information with the IUPAC Commission
on Biotechnology and a number of terms are found in both this glossary
and the "Glossary of Terms Used in Biotechnology" prepared by that
Commission. In addition, helpful comments were received from the
Commission on Agricultural Chemistry and from other Commissions,
such as the Commission on Water Chemistry.
For the first draft, the Working Party received financial assistance
from the European Community Directorate General XI, and from Ashton-Tate
Ltd. in the form of a gift of software. IUPAC made funds available
for the second and third drafts.
For the preparation of the second draft, grants were received from
the National Rivers Authority - Thames Region, and from Albright
& Wilson (European Headquarters).
For the preparation of the third draft and assistance in travelling
and subsistence, the Working Party is indebted to the IUPAC Committee
on Chemical Industry (COCI) for their support. Additionally, support,
both financial and moral was given by the member companies CIBA-GEIGY,
Lonza, Hoffman-La Roche, and Sandoz, and the permanent staff of
ECETOC. General thanks for financial support are due to Betz, Procter
and Gamble - Belgium, ICI Agro-chemicals, Houseman Speciality Chemicals,
Monsanto, and Rohm & Haas Italia.
Finally, the preparation of the glossary would not have been feasible
without the efforts of Pauline Sim, Principal of Gascoigne Secretarial
Services, High Wycombe, GB, who typed the first 3 draft copies,
was responsible for the original compilation in alphabetical order
of terms from many sources, and typed the several hundred letters
needed to get the project started.
NOTES FOR THE USER OF THIS GLOSSARY
In compiling this glossary, it became clear that toxicologists
have not conformed to the rules laid down by IUPAC in their current
practice. For example, one of the IUPAC rules about abbreviations
is that they should not be used as symbols for physical quantities
but by long tradition toxicologists have used the abbreviation LD50
and related abbreviations in just this way. The compilers of this
glossary have accepted the prevailing toxicological usage but this
is not to be taken as an indication that it has their approval and
they recommend that some attempt should be made to improve on current
usage to bring it into line with IUPAC rules. Similarly, the compilers
recommend that, contrary to much current usage, toxic components
(like other chemically definable components) in doses, dosages and
exposures should be expressed as amounts-of-substance, substance
concentration, substance content or a time integral of one of these.
Thus, for example, a pesticide should be expressed as amount-of-substance,
not as its mass including binding agents and other ingredients,
nor its volume including solvent.
There is a need for translations of such terms as "absolute lethal
concentration" into the recommended format for clinical chemistry
with component, system, and kind-of-quantity with parenthetic specifications
of each as necessary. Thus, "absolute lethal concentration in air"
might become ambient-air-toxicant substance concentration (number
fraction of organisms killed = 1).
There is also a need for a careful revision of symbolic practices
to bring them into line with ISO-31 (for example c (d killed
= 1) for absolute lethal concentration in stead of LC100).
Throughout the glossary the following abbreviations are used to
ndicate the relationships between terms:
AN antonym, opposite
BT broader term
NT narrower term
PS partial synonym
RT related term
SN exact synonym
S. S. Brown; N. de Fernicola; P. Grandjean; R. F. Herber;
C. R. Morris; J.A. Sokal
W. N. Aldridge; D. H. Bangham; R. E. Bareiss; C. Bismuth;
J. C. Bollinger; A. Cavalleri; J. Molin Christensen; T. M. M. Coenen;
L. E. Coles; A. Cornish-Bowden; A. T. Costello; A. D. Dayan; P.
de Bievre; J. Debord; H. B. F. Dixon; H. V. Ellis III; G. Ferard;
R. J. Flanagan; D. M. Gott; P. F. Headley; B. Heinzow; R. J. Hemingway;
H. P. A. Illing; M. Jakubowski; J. O. Jarvisalo; Chen Jisheng; Kaew
Kangsadalampai; D. Kello; W. H. Konemann; P. Kratochvil; K. Kuchitsu;
G. Lachatre; A. Lamberty; M. Lauritzen; M. S. Madiwale; E. Magid;
I. M. Mills; N. Montalbetti (deceased); C. R. Krishna Murti (deceased);
M. Okagawa; H. Olesen; D. V. Parke; K. K. Parker; O. M. Poulsen;
R. Plestina; P. Preziosi; J. Prokes; W. C. Purdy; S. RendiE; M.
Repetto; J. C. Rigg; D. M. Rutherford; E. Smith; H. Smith; W. G.
Temple; D. Templeton; J. S. Thompson; A. J. Thor; E. M. den Tonkelaar;
D. Tonks; H. Vainio; F. Weber; M. I. Weitzner; H. Worth
of the Commission during the period (1989-93) when this report was
prepared was a follows:
Chairman: 1989-91 P. Grandjean (Denmark); 1991-93 Rita Cornelis
(Belgium); Secretary: 1989-91 R. Cornelis (Belgium); 1991-93 B.
Heinzow (Germany); Titular Members: S. S. Brown (1989-91; UK); J.
H. Duffus (1991-93; UK); R. F. M. Herber (1989-93; Netherlands);
M. Jakubowski (1989-93; Poland); Jytte Molin Christensen (1991-93;
Denmark); E. Nieboer (1989-91; Canada); D. M. Templeton (1991-93;
Canada); C. Veillon (1989-91; USA); Associate Members: A. Cavalleri
(1989-93; Italy); Sheila bawling (1991-93; UK); Andree Lamberty
(1989-93; Belgium); S. Rendie (1989-91; Yugolsavia); D. Rutherford
(1991-93; Australia); Y. Thomassen (1991-93; Norway); Marie Vahter
(1991-93; Sweden); C. Veillon (1991-93; USA); National Representatives:
O. Augusto (1991-93; Brazil); I. Ddsi (1989-93; Hungary); P. K.
Ray (1989-93; India); W. King (1991-93; Ireland); W. A. Temple (1989-93;
New Zealand); M. Repetto Jimenez (1989-93; Spain); Zeliha Imre (1989-93;
Turkey); Representative of IUPHAR Section on Toxicology: J. G. Salway
(1989-91; USA); Representative of IUTOX: P. Grandjean (1989-93;