John Libbey Eurotext

Environnement, Risques & Santé


Toward better interdisciplinary understanding in the field of environmental risk assessment: about the terms “acute” and “chronic” Volume 9, issue 3, Mai-Juin 2010

Service des Etudes Médicales d’EDF 22-28, rue Joubert 75009 ParisFrance, Inserm U625 Université de Rennes I 35042 RennesFrance, Société CEHTRA Agence de Lyon 80, rue Condorcet 38090 Vaulx MilieuFrance
  • Key words: communication, environment, health, public health, risk assessment, terminology as topic, vocabulary
  • DOI : 10.1684/ers.2010.0344
  • Page(s) : 217-22
  • Published in: 2010

Because risk assessment for environmental chemical exposure involves several disciplines and as one of its objectives is provide information to the public, careful consideration of the vocabulary used is essential For example, the meaning of the terms “acute” and “chronic” depend on the context. Medical doctors, health risk assessors, toxicologists, epidemiologists and ecotoxicologists all define them differently. These differences are a source of misunderstandings and may lead to the misuse of assessment tools. A preliminary stage of defining words is necessary for interdisciplinary understanding. Recognition of these differences also furthers public comprehension.