Please help with building this page. If you do not understand a term used on this site please send us the word and we will make sure to add it here.
ACUTE Having a quick start and relatively serious
characteristics, as an acute illness.
AIR. A mixture of gases containing about 78
percent nitrogen, 21 percent oxygen, and less than one percent
carbon dioxide and other nonreactive gasses, with varying amounts
of water vapor.
AIRSHED. The air supply of a given area defined
by natural or topographic features, as well as by political or
ALVEOLI. The numerous tiny air sacs at the
end of the bronchioles in the lungs, where exchange of oxygen
and carbon dioxide takes place across membranes with the blood.
ARTERIOSCLEROSIS. A chronic disease where thickening
or hardening of the artery walls interferes with blood circulation.
ATMOSPHERE. The layer of air surrounding the
BACKDRAFTING. A downward flow of air into a
fireplace or wood stove when outside air enters the exhaust opening.
Most common in airtight dwellings where this becomes the only
available source of combustion air, or when chimneys develop a
creosote buildup, or when wood stoves are not properly installed.
BENZENE. A toxic chemical found in coal tar
and used as an industrial solvent, as a gasoline additive, and
in some paints or varnishes; a known carcinogen.
BRONCHIOLES. Small thinwalled branches
of the bronchus, which branch further and lead to the tiny air
sacs within the lungs.
BRONCHITIS. Inflammation of the mucous membrane
of the bronchial tubes.
BRONCHIOLlTIS. Inflammation of the mucous membrane
of the bronchioles.
BRONCHUS. Either of two primary/ranches of
the trachea or other branches with cartilage in their walls, which
lead to the bronchioles in the lungs.
CARBON MONOXIDE (CO). A colorless, odorless
gas produced by incomplete burning of carbon containing substances,
especially by gasolinepowered vehicles. It is one of the
six major air pollutants for which there is a national air quality
CARCINOGEN. A substance or activity that causes
CARCINOGENIC. Capable of causing cancer.
CARDIAC. Of, near, or relating to the heart.
CERTIFIED WOOD STOVE. Models certified as relatively
clean burning by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency based
on carbon monoxide and particulate matter emission testing at
CHRONIC Marked by long duration or frequent
recurrence, such as a chronic disease.
CILIA. Hairlike cells that line the passageways
to the lungs. The motion of cilia propels tiny dirt particles
and germs out of the respiratory tract.
COMBUSTION. The process of burning. More specifically,
when a substance reacts with oxygen to produce heat and often
EMISSIONS. Waste substances or pollutants discharged
into the air from sources such as automobiles, power plants, or
EMPHYSEMA. A swelling of the tiny air sacs
or alveoli in the lungs resulting from destruction of the membranes
which line the inside of the air sacscharacterized by breathing
difficulties and greater susceptibility to infections.
ENVIRONMENT. The aggregate of all outside conditions
and influences affecting life, development, and survival of organisms.
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY (EPA). The
independent federal government agency established in 1970 that
regulates environmental matters and oversees environmental law
HYDROCARBONS. A large family of compounds containing
hydrogen and carbon. Can include many organic compounds in various
combinations. Wood and fossil fuels are composed mainly of hydrocarbons.
Many are air pollutants and some are carcinogenic.
INDOORAIR POLLUTION. Air pollutants which
are released inside buildings at concentrations often higher than
in outdoor air. Common indoor air pollutants include radon, tobacco
smoke, formaldehyde, and wood smoke.
INVERSIONS. An atmospheric condition occurring
when a cool layer of air gets trapped below a layer of warm air
and is unable to rise. This "ceiling" leads to a buildup
of polluted air close to the ground and prevents vertical mixture
and dispersion of smoke and other air pollutants.
LIFETIME CANCER RISK. The probability that
someone will get cancer from a specific source at some time in
LOWER RESPIRATORY TRACT INFECTIONS (LRTIs)
Infections deeper in the respiratory tract than the nose and throat,
such as bronchiolitis or pneumonia which involve the bronchioles
MICRON. A unit of length 1/1,000,000 of a meter.
MORTALITY RATE. Death rate.
MUCOUS MEMBRANE The membrane lining all body
channels that are exposed to air, such as the respiratory tract
or the digestive tract. The glands of this membrane secrete mucus.
MUCUS. Organic compounds secreted by the mucous
membrane, along with cells and inorganic salts suspended in water.
This mixture acts as a lubricant and a protective coating.
MUTAGEN. An agent that causes biological mutation.
MUTATION. A change in the genes or chromosomes
within the cells of living organisms.
MUTAGENICITY. A measure of the relative strength of different mutagens based on their ability to cause mutations.
NITROGEN OXIDES. Compounds of nitrogen and
oxygen formed from high temperature burning. They contribute to
acid rain and ozone formation. Nitric oxide (NO) and nitrogen
dioxide (NO2) contribute to lung and respiratory health problems.
Nitrogen dioxide is the most toxic and is one of the six major
air pollutants for which there is a national air quality standard.
ORGANIC Concerning, related to, or derived
from living organisms; in chemistry, a carbon containing compound.
OZONE (O3). A form of oxygen consisting of
three oxygen atoms per molecule. Ozone is a pungent, colorless,
toxic gas that is a major component of smog. It is formed from
nitrogen oxides and hydrocarbons in the presence of sunlight and
heat. Ozone is one of six major air pollutants for which there
is a national air quality standard.
PARTICULATE MATTER (PM). Small particles of solid and liquid matter found in the atmosphere including soot, dust, organic matter, smoke, or smog.
PM2.5: Particulate matter that measures 2.5 microns in diameter or less. New research indicates that soot in this respirable size is especially deadly. They are so small that they can be circulated in the blood stream. These particles carry viable mold, virus and bacteria, that can be inhaled into human (mammalian) lungs. When you breathe wood smoke, it can be detected in your urine the next day. They can even tell what kind of wood was burned. (In other words: wood smoke circulates through your entire body, some of it is excreted, some can remain in the lung.)
PM10. Particulate matter that measures ten
microns in diameter or less. One of six major air pollutants for
which there is a national air quality standard.
PNEUMONIA. An acute or chronic disease caused
by bacteria, viruses, or particulate matter and chemical agents
characterized by inflammation of the lung tissue.
PULMONARY. Of or relating to the lungs.
PYROMANIA - Mental disorder
#312.33 impulse control disorder (as listed in the diagnostic
and statistic manual :P. 325 deliberate and purposeful pleasure
arousal and gratification relief on starting fire. Not for financial
gain or to express anger. Can be indifferent to the consequence
or derive pleasure from the results. There is a male predominance
in the disorder.)
RADON. A colorless, odorless radioactive gas
formed by the decay of uranium, found in rocks and soil.
RESPIRATORY SYSTEM. The body's system for breathing,
including the nose, throat, and lungs.
SINUS. Any of the airfilled cavities in
the skull connected to the nostrils or external openings of the
SINUSITIS. Inflammation of a sinus membrane,
especially in the nasal or nose region.
SMOG. Air pollution consisting of fog mixed
with smoke and or ozone, also called haze, or, in Los Angeles,
SLASH BURNING. The burning of woody debris
left over from logging or land clearing operations.
STAGNATION. Lack of motion in a mass of air
or water which tends to hold pollutants in place.
TOXIC Poisonous, carcinogenic, or directly
harmful to life.
TRACHEA. A passage through which air passes
to and from the lungs.
VOLATILE. Unstable substances that evaporate
rapidly at normal temperatures, such as benzene or gasoline.