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> New Jersey Hazardous Substance Fact Sheets - Definitions

Technical terms and acronyms used in this Hazardous Substance Fact Sheet are defined to clarify the information on the fact sheet.

ACGIH is the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists. They publish guidelines called Threshold Limit Values (TLVs) for exposure to workplace chemicals.
acute health effects
Acute health effects are short term health effects which occur immediately or shortly after exposure to a substance and, in some cases, could cause permanent injury.
The lowest temperature that a material begins to burn in the absence of a spark or flame.
boiling point
Boiling point is the temperature at which a substance changes its physical state from a liquid to a gas.
A carcinogen is a substance that causes cancer.
CAS number
This is a single unique identifier assigned to every chemical by the Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) of the American Chemical Society.
CHEMTREC® (Chemical Transportation Emergency Center) was established in 1971 by the chemical industry as a 24-hour toll-free public service hotline for emergency responders, such as fire fighters and law enforcement, to obtain information and assistance for accidental chemical releases.
chronic health effects
Chronic or long-term health effects are delayed responses from exposure to a substance. Adverse health effects may not occur for many years.
CFR is the Code of Federal Regulations, which are the regulations of the United States government.
chemical name
This is a scientific name of a substance assigned by the Chemical Abstract Service (CAS).
combustible substance
A combustible substance is a solid, liquid or gas that will burn.
common name
A common chemical name for a substance. It is not a trade name.
corrosive substance
A corrosive substance is a gas, liquid or solid that can burn or destroy human tissue or weaken (corrode) metal containers.
DEP is the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.
DOT is the Department of Transportation, the federal agency that regulates the transportation of chemicals.
DOT Number
This is a four-digit number assigned to a substance by the United States Department of Transportation (DOT). United Nations and North American DOT classification systems are designated by the symbols UN and NA.
EPA is the Environmental Protection Agency, the federal agency responsible for regulating environmental hazards.
ERG or NAERG is the North American Emergency Response Guidebook. It is a guide for emergency responders for transportation emergencies involving hazardous substances.
ERG Guide Number
This is a three digit number in the ERG/NAERG book assigned to hazardous substances. Each guide provides safety recommendations and emergency response information to protect emergency responders and the public. It is designed to cover a group of materials which have similar chemical and toxicological characteristics.
A fetus is an unborn human or animal.
flammable substance
A flammable substance is a solid, liquid, vapor or gas that will ignite easily and burn rapidly.
flash point
The flash point is the temperature at which a liquid or solid gives off vapor that can form a flammable mixture with air.
hazard class
Department of Transportation (DOT) classification of hazardous materials.
HHAG is the Human Health Assessment Group of the federal EPA.
IARC is the International Agency for Research on Cancer, a scientific group that classifies chemicals according to their cancer-causing potential.
ionization potential
Ionization potential is the amount of energy needed to remove an electron from an atom or molecule. It is measured in electron volts.
IRIS is the Integrated Risk Information System database maintained by the federal EPA. The database contains information on human health effects that may result from exposure to various chemicals in the environment.
LEL or Lower Exposure Limit
LEL is the lowest concentration of a combustible substance (gas or vapor) in the air which will burn or explode if ignited.
melting point
Melting point is the temperature at which a substance changes its physical state from a solid to a liquid.
miscible substance
A miscible substance is a liquid or gas that will evenly dissolve in another. For example, water and ethanol are miscible. All concentrations of ethanol in water are possible 1-99%.
mg/m3 means milligrams of a chemical in a cubic meter of air. It is a measure of concentration (weight/volume).
molecular formula
A summary of the different types of atoms or elements and the actual number of each of these present in the substance (e.g. H2O - contains two different types of atoms, hydrogen and oxygen. It contains one oxygen atom and two hydrogen atoms).
molecular weight
The sum of the atomic weights of all the atoms present in the molecular formula.
MSHA is the Mine Safety and Health Administration, the federal agency that regulates mining. It also evaluates and approves respirators.
A mutagen is a substance that causes mutations. A mutation is a change in the genetic material in a body cell. Mutations can lead to birth defects, miscarriages, or cancer.
National Response Center (NRC)
The NRC is the sole point of contact for reporting pollution and hazardous material spills. After receiving notification of an incident, the NRC will immediately notify the appropriate Federal On-Scene Coordinator and appropriate Federal agencies.
NCI is the National Cancer Institute, a federal agency that determines the cancer-causing potential of chemicals.
NFPA is the National Fire Protection Association. It classifies substances according to their fire and explosion hazard.
NIOSH is the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. It tests equipment, evaluates and approves respirators, conducts studies of workplace hazards, and proposes standards to OSHA.
NJDEP is the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. NJDEP has an emergency phone number for reporting environmental incidents in New Jersey.
NTP is the National Toxicology Program which tests chemicals and reviews evidence for cancer.
odor threshold
The lowest concentration of a chemical in air that is detectable by smell.
OSHA is the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which adopts and enforces health and safety standards in private workplaces.
PEOSHA is the New Jersey Public Employees Occupational Safety and Health Act, which adopts and enforces health and safety standards in public workplaces.
Permeated is the movement of chemicals through protective materials.
PIH is a Department of Transportation (DOT) designation for labeling chemicals which are Poisonous by Inhalation.
ppm means parts of a substance per million parts of air. It is a measure of concentration by volume in air.
reactive substance
A reactive substance is a solid, liquid or gas that releases energy suddenly under certain conditions.
reproductive toxicity
Substance that may cause reproductive harm to humans, for example reduced fertility in men or women.
RTK Substance Number
A number assigned by the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services to this substance.
specific gravity (relative density)
The ratio of the weight of a substance to the weight of an equal volume of water at the same temperature. A value less than 1 indicates the substance is lighter than water and will float. A value greater than 1 indicates the substance is heavier than water and will sink.
STEL is a short term exposure limit (usually a 15-minute exposure) that should not be exceeded at any time during a workday.
A teratogen is a substance that causes birth defects by damaging the fetus.
TLV is the Threshold Limit Value, the workplace exposure limit recommended by ACGIH.
UEL or Upper Explosive Limit
UEL is the highest concentration of gas or vapor in air which will burn or explode if ignited.
vapor density
The vapor density of a substance is the ratio of the weight of a volume of pure vapor or gas (no air present) to an equal volume of dry air (sometimes hydrogen gas) at the same temperature and pressure. The vapor density with respect to air is calculated as the ratio of the molecular weight of the substance to the molecular weight of air, 29.

Vapor density of a pure substance (air=1) = (MW of pure substance)/29

When air is used for the calculations this is specified with "(air=1)". A vapor density of less than 1 indicates that the substance is lighter than air. Meanwhile when the vapor density is greater than 1 it indicates that the substance is heavier than air.
vapor pressure
The vapor pressure is a measure of how readily a liquid or a solid mixes with air at its surface. A higher vapor pressure indicates a higher concentration of the substance in air and therefore increases the likelihood of breathing it in.
water solubility
Provides qualitative information on the ability of the substance to dissolve in water.