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J Expo Anal Environ Epidemiol. 2005 Jan;15(1):1-5.

Adoption of an official ISEA glossary.

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  • 1U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, MA, USA.


The International Society for Exposure Analysis (ISEA) and its Nomenclature Committee have been involved since the mid-1990s in an intermittent but ongoing effort to develop an official ISEA glossary. Several related activities have stimulated greater interest and discussion nationally and internationally on a common exposure language. Among these activities are a 1997 Journal of Exposure Analysis and Environmental Epidemiology feature article on exposure and dose definitions and a 1999-initiated project of the International Programme on Chemical Safety (IPCS) (WHO/ILO/UNEP) to confront terminology issues hindering harmonization in the area of exposure assessment. Recently, the ISEA members voted in support of adopting the IPCS glossary as the official ISEA glossary, and the ISEA Executive Board agreed to accept this recommendation. In this feature article, we (1) describe the process through which the ISEA adopted the IPCS glossary as the official ISEA glossary, (2) present the joint IPCS/ISEA glossary of terms and their definitions, and (3) discuss plans for how the glossary can be used by ISEA and updated over time by ISEA and IPCS. The glossary is intended to be a living document that reflects the latest usage and maintains international harmonization of exposure terminology that can be practically applied to improve communication in exposure and related fields.

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