Tracking Glossary A to Z

               A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P |Q | R | S | T | U | V| W |X | Y | Z
Age-adjusted rate A rate that accounts for age differences between populations. Adjusting for age allows overall rates to be compared between p​opulations. See also Rate.

Age Category Age groupings permit displaying age-related trends in the data. Agencies or researchers can use their own or standard age categories.
Age-Specific rate A rate calculated for a specific age category
Air Quality A general description of how much pollution is in the air. See also Toxic Pollutants, Particulate Matter.
Ambient Air Outside Air
Ambient air monitoring network in Maryland A network of stations in Maryland that monitor air pollutants. See also Ambient air, Contaminant, Criteria Pollutant, and Toxic Pollutants
Anencephaly A major birth defect where part of the brain, skull or scalp is missing.
Arsenic A naturally-occurring element that can be poisonous in some forms. It can sometimes occur in wells used for drinking water
Asthma A disease where the airways of the lungs tighten up and cause wheezing, coughing, chest tightness and/or shortness of breath.
Asthma Hospital Discharge A measure indicating that somebody required an overnight hospital stay  because of asthma
Birth Defect Abnormal development of a part of a baby's body, or the result of delivery

Birth Defects Events The number of birth defects that occur in a population over a specified period of time. When children are born with more than one birth defect, each defect is counted separately
Birth Events The total number of births within a certain period of time. Birth events include live births and stillborn deliveries Bath Salts
Carbon Monoxide An odorless, poisonous gas produced by automobiles, engines, engines, and some heating systems. See also Criteria Pollutant, Toxic Pollutants.

Cell Size The number of cases or events in a unit analysis
Chi-Square Test A statistical test sometimes used to determine if observed findings are statistically significant.
City An urban cluster of people, buildings, roads, and other elements. Cities may be defined in different ways, so comparisons between cities should consider how they were defined.
Cleft Lip A birth defect where an opening is found in the upper lip. If often occurs with cleft palate, which is an opening in the roof of the mouth.
Column A vertical (up-and-down) display of information or data in a table. See also Row, Table.
Compliant Period A period of time when no environmental hazard violations are noted.
Contaminant A potentially harmful substance in the air, water, soil or food.
Cotinine A substance formed in the body from nicotine. Cotinine can be measured in urine and is used to measure exposure to tobacco smoke.
Criteria Pollutant One of six air pollutants that are regulated by the U.S EPA. The criteria pollutants include carbon monoxide, lead, nitrogen dioxide, ozone, particulate matter, and sulfur dioxide.  because of asthma
Data Information composed of multiple individual measurement or outcomes. An individual measurement is referred to as "datum".

Data Suppression Rule Withholding the display of data so that personal information is not released.
Deciliter A metric measurement of volume, consisting of one-tenth of a liter. Abbreviated as "dL". Equivalent metric terms are 10 centiliters (cL) or 100 milliliters (mL). One deciliter is approximately 3 ounces.
Deaths The total number of deaths from any cause, usually defined within a specified period of time. Also called mortality.
Degrees of freedom The number of variables that are free to vary in calculation. If you are calculating one value from a combination of variable, the number of degrees of freedom is one less than the total number of variables (n-1).
Denominator The bottom number of a fraction, used to calculate values such as rates. See also Numerator.
Drinking Water Water that is used for drinking, and other household uses such as cooking, bathing, and laundry.
Environment Air, water, soil, and food and the contaminants found within them.

Environmental Factor A specific component of the environment.
Environmental Health The field of study examining the effects of the environment on human health with an emphasis on the environmental hazards and adverse health outcomes.
Ethnicity Self-defined cultural group.
Exposure Contact with an environmental contaminant through breathing, drinking, eating or the skin.
Figure A shape, drawing, or representation or number. See also Graph..
Fine Particulate Matter Another term for PM2.5
Gender Maleness or femaleness. Health can be influenced by gender. See also sex.

GIS Geographic Information Systems, A system that allows geographic information to be stored, analyzed and displayed.
Graph A visual display showing relationships of numeric information.
Ground Level Ozone A component of smog, regulated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Ozone can worsen asthma and other lung diseases. See also Ozone.
Group Data A summary of data from a specific population group. The population group can be defined in several ways, such as geography, race/ethnicity, or age. Also termed population-based data or aggregated data.
HAA5 A class of disinfection by-products (halo acetic acids) that are formed when water is disinfected using chlorine or chloramine. Halo acetic acids have been linked with adverse reproductive effects such as low birth weight (gv).

Health According to the World Health Organization, "Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. Reference: Preamble to the Constitution of the World Health Organization as adopted by the International Health Conference, New York, 19-22 June, 1946; signed on 22 July 1946 by representatives of 61 States (Official Records of the World Health Organization, no.2 p.100) and entered into force on 7 April 1946.
Health Outcome Also called health effect. A disease or health condition measured or observed in a population or an individual.
Hispanic A person of Spanish-speaking heritage. Other words for Hispanic include Chicanos or Latinos for males and Latinas for females.
Land Use The human use of land for a specific application such as agriculture, forestry, industry, cities etc.
Lead Poisoning Elevated blood lead level, usually as a result of long-term exposure. Infants and children are especially sensitive to lead, which can cause problems with intelligence, memory, coordination, and behavior
Low Birth Weight Birth weight less than 2500grams (less than approximately 4 pounds).
Map A visual representation of a geographical area or other spatial information such as population density, health outcomes, and environmental contaminants. Data Suppression rules apply to human health information in maps as well as tables. See also Geographic Information System and image.

MCL Abbreviation for Maximum Contaminant level. The highest level of a substance allowed in drinking water by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, intended to protect people from adverse health effects of contaminants.
MCL Violation An observation where the level of a drinking water contaminant is greater than the MCL
Microgram Abbreviated as ug. One-millionth of a gram. Equivalent to 0.00000003527 ounce.
Myocardial Infarction The medical term for a heart attack, which occurs when part of the heart cannot get enough oxygen because of blocked blood vessels.
Nitrates and Nitrites Drinking water contaminants composed of nitrogen and oxygen. Infants are especially sensitive to nitrates and nitrites. Nitrates are the predominant form in water and can come from fertilizers, animal waste and failed septic systems.

Non-attainment areas Geographic areas that have not met the air quality standards for one or more of the Criteria Pollutants.
Not Significant A description for a result or finding that is not statistically important.
Numerator The top number of a fraction, used to calculate values such as rates. See also Denominator.
Ozone A highly reactive air pollutant made of three atoms of oxygen. In nature, ozone occurs near the ground (the "bad" ozone in smog) or high in the atmosphere (the "good" ozone that blocks harmful UV radiation from the sun). See also Ground Level Ozone..
Particulate Matter Tiny airborne particles or droplets characterized as air pollutants. See also Fine Particulate Matter and PM2.5.

Pesticides Substances used to kill or slow the growth of insects, weeds, rodents, fungi or some type of worms.
PM2.5 Airborne particles or droplets that are less than 2.5 microns in diameter. PM2.5 can be breathed in the lungs and can contribute to various health problems. PM2.5 is one of the Criteria Pollutant and is also known as Fine Particulate Matter. It can come from vehicle exhaust, power plants, fires and manufacturing processes.
Primary Source Type The main source for a community (public) drinking water system. Primary source types can be surface water, ground water, a mixture of surface and ground waters, or purchased water.
Probability A measure of the likelihood that an event will happen.
Probability Value (P) The statistical likelihood that a finding is due to chance alone. A low probability value suggests that a finding is real and is not simply due to chance. A probability value of less than 0.05(5%) is a commonly used benchmark for significance. See also Probability and Significance.
Race A group of people who share a common genetic background, geographical location, history, or other characteristics.

Rate A measure of how often an event occurs during a specified period of time or in a population. Se also Numerator, Denominator, Age-Adjusted Rate.
Risk The probability that a given factor will cause harm.
Risk Factor Something that contributes to a particular adverse health outcome, such as age, gender, genetic background, or environmental exposure.
River Surface water that flows from an origin to a destination. Rivers may branch into lesser tributaries such as streams or branches.
Row A horizontal (cross-wise) display of information or data in a table. See also Column and Table.
Row Percentage The percent contribution of a value to the total of all values in the same row.
RSE Abbreviation for Relative Standard Error. A measure of the accuracy or reliability of data, expressed as a percent of a given value.
Sex Another term for Gender, but with a greater emphasis on biological differences between males and females.

Significance A statistical term for the probability that an even was not random. Significance is actually a continuous spectrum, but a common benchmark for significance is P<0.05 (the probability of the event being random is less than 5%). See also Probability, Probability Value and Risk.
Spina bifida A birth defect where the spinal cord is not fully enclosed.
Street Map A map showing major highways at a large scale and minor streets and roads at a small scale.
Suppression Rules See Data Suppression Rule.
Table Presentation of data in rows and columns. See also Rows and Columns.

Total(s) The sum of all observations.
Toxic Pollutants Substance present in the air, water, food, or soil that can be harmful to human health and the environment.
Trisomy 21 Also called Down Syndrome. A genetic condition in which there is an extra copy of chromosome 21. Children with Trisomy 21 typically have developmental and medical problems and a characteristic appearance. See also Birth Defect.
TTHM Abbreviation for Total Trihalomethanes. A group of chemicals, also called disinfection by-products that are formed when water is disinfected with chlorine or chloramine. Total trihalomethanes have been linked with certain health effects, including cancer. See also HAA5
Water Contaminant A potentially harmful substance that is present in water.
Water Plant City The city in which a community (public) drinking water treatment plant is located. The water plant city may not correspond to the area that it serves.
X2 (Chi-Square) See chi-square test.