Glossary of Procurement Terminology
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
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Acute toxicity - the potential of a chemical substance to cause adverse health effects from shortterm exposure.
Alternatively Fueled Vehicle (AFV) - Alternatively fueled vehicles are powered by fuels that reduce the air pollution, solid waste, and hazardous waste that result from their use, service, and maintenance. The term "alternatively fueled vehicles" is used to refer to various types of vehicles, including compressed natural gas, biodiesel, ethanol, electric and hybrid electric, propane, liquified natural gas, and hydrogen fuel cell.
Ambient air pollutants - pollutants for which ambient air quality standards have been developed. (40 CFR 50.4- 50.12.) These pollutants include nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide, ozone precursors, particulate matter, carbon monoxide, and lead.
Aquatic toxicity - the potential of a substance to have an adverse effect on aquatic species. Measurement methods for aquatic toxicity can be found in 40 CFR part 797, subpart B.
Avian toxicity - the potential of a substance to have an adverse effect on avian species.
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Bioaccumulative pollutants - those chemicals that bioconcentrate in the environment as described in the Significant New Use Rule for new chemicals. (40 CFR 721.3.)
Bio-based products - are defined as commercial or industrial products (other than food or feed) that utilize biological products or renewable, domestic, agricultural (e.g., plant, animal and marine), or forestry materials. (EO 13101, Section 201)
Biodegradable - Capable of decomposing under natural conditions.
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Coal Fly Ash - A by-product of coal burning. It is called "fly" ash because it is transported from the combustion chamber by exhaust gases.
Carcinogenicity - defined by EPA through a weight-of-evidence approach. (51 FR 33992, September 24, 1986 and 61 FR 17960, April 23, 1996.) When quantification is possible, slope factors or other measures such as LED10 can also be used to express carcinogenic potency.
Chemical releases - ambient releases of chemicals of concern such as those reported in the TRI of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act. The current list is reported in 40 CFR 372.65.
Compostable - Capability of organic material to biologically decompose into humus-like material.
Comprehensive Procurement Guidelines (CPG) - Through the Comprehensive Procurement Guidelines (CPG), EPA designates items that must contain recycled content when purchased by federal, state, and local agencies, or by government contractors using appropriated federal funds. CPG is authorized under RCRA and updated every two years.
Conventional pollutants - defined in 40 CFR 401.16. These pollutants include biochemical oxygen demand, total suspended solids, fecal coliform, pH, and oil and grease.
Corrosivity - dermal corrosion is defined by EPA as the production of irreversible tissue damage in the skin following application of a test substance. Test methods for evaluating dermal corrosion can be found in the harmonized Office of Prevention, Pesticide and Toxic Substances (OPPTS) guidelines for acute dermal irritation. (OPPTS 870.2500.) These guidelines harmonize the TSCA, FIFRA and OECD requirements in this area. The OSHA HazCom Standard listed above for irritancy also explicitly or implicitly covers corrosivity, sensitization, neurotoxicity, and all other toxic endpoints.
CPG - Through the Comprehensive Procurement Guideline (CPG), EPA designates items that must contain recycled content when purchased by federal, state, and local agencies, or by government contractors using appropriated federal funds. Under E.O. 13101 EPA is required to update the CPG every 2 years.
Crumb Rubber - Fine granular or powdered rubber capable of being used to make a variety of products. It is recovered from scrap tires using thermal and/or mechanical processing techniques. Crumb rubber also is derived from the tire retreading process, when worn tire tread is removed during a buffing process before the new tread is affixed.
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Designated Products - Products that are or can be made from recovered materials that have been designated in the CPG through EPA's formal rulemaking process. Also referred to as "designated items."
Development/reproductive toxicity - adverse effects on the developing organism that result from chemical exposure prior to conception (i.e., either parent), during prenatal development, or, postnatally, to the time of sexual maturation. (56 FR 63798, December 5, 1991.) Reproductive toxicity is any adverse effect on an organism's ability to reproduce. (61 FR 56274, October 31, 1996.)
Disassembly potential - The ease with which a product can be disassembled for maintenance, replacement, or recycling.
Durability - Refers to the expected lifetime of the product.
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Energy efficiency - Refers to products that meet or exceed the Department of Energy (DOE)/Federal Energy Management Program product energy efficiency recommendations which identify the top 25 percent of energy efficiency for all similar products or that meet the energy efficiency criteria of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)/DOE Energy Star" program.
Energy Policy Act of 1992 (EPACT) - Among other things, EPACT provides for improved energy efficiency of motor vehicles, major appliances, and certain other consumer products. It also directs the conservation of energy supplies, reduction in the demand for petroleum products and natural gas, and conservation of water through improved water efficiency of plumbing products and appliances.
Energy Star - Energy Star is a voluntary partnership among the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, product manufacturers, local utilities, and retailers. Partners help promote efficient products by labeling with the Energy Star" logo and educating consumers about the benefits of energy efficiency.
Environmental attributes - Environmental characteristics of a product or service, such as energy or water efficiency, low-toxicity, biobased, and recycled-content.
Environmentally preferable - products or services that have a lesser or reduced effect on human health and the environment when compared with competing products or services that serve the same purpose. The product or service comparison may consider raw materials acquisition, production, manufacturing, packaging, distribution, reuse, operation, maintenance, or disposal. (EO 13101, Section 201)
Executive Order 13101 - Entitled Greening the Government Through Waste Prevention, Recycling, and Federal Acquisition, Executive Order (E.O.) 13101 was signed on September 14, 1998. This Order replaces E.O. 12873 and reinforces the federal government's buy-recycled efforts. E.O. 13101 establishes a process for amending the CPG originally promulgated under E.O. 12873. E.O. 13101 requires EPA to amend the CPG every 2 years, or as appropriate. The Order also requires EPA to issue RMANs concurrent with the CPG amendments, and to update them periodically.
Extended Product Responsibility - A product systems approach to environmental protection that considers product chain and life cycle environmental impacts.
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Flammability - defined by the OSHA HazCom Standard (29 CFR 1910.1200) and ignitability is defined in 40 CFR part 261.21.
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GGBF - Ground granulated blast furnace slag. A by-product of iron blast furnaces. The slag is ground into granules finer than Portland cement and can be used as an ingredient in concrete.
Global warming gases - listed in Climate Change 1992, The Scientific Report on the IPCC Scientific Assessment. (Table A 2.1.)
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Hazardous waste - Quantity of Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) hazardous waste as defined in 40 CFR 261.3.
HDPE - High density polyethylene. A plastic resin used in products and packaging such as milk jugs, detergent bottles, margarine tubs, and garbage containers.
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Immunotoxicity - any adverse effect on an organism's immune system that results from exposure to a chemical substance.
Indoor environmental releases - releases to an indoor environment of potentially hazardous chemicals such as those reported in the TRI in both occupational and consumer settings.
Integrated Pest Management - The coordinated use of pest information, environmental information, and available pest control methods to prevent unacceptable levels of pest damage by the most economical means and with the least possible hazard to people, property, and the environment.
Irritancy - defined according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Hazard Communication Standard (29 CFR part 1910.1200) or other standard scales such as EPA or Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Guidelines (EPA 712-C-98-196, August, 1998.)
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LDPE - Low density polyethylene. A plastic resin used for both rigid containers and plastic film applications such as plastic bags and film wrap.
Life cycle assessment - means the comprehensive examination of a product's environmental and economic aspects and potential impacts throughout its lifetime, including raw material extraction, transportation, manufacturing, use, and disposal. (EO 13101, Section 201) The International Standards Organization, through ISO 14040, has defined life cycle assessment slightly differently as follows: Compilation and evaluation of the inputs, outputs, and the potential environmental impacts of a product system throughout its life cycle.
Life cycle cost - means the amortized annual cost of a product, including capital costs, installation costs, operating costs, maintenance costs and disposal costs discounted over the lifetime of the product, according to OMB Circular A-94 and Executive Order 13101, Section 201. However, this definition does not include external costs (i.e., those not borne directly by the entity that owns and operates a product/service, such as environmental costs to society at large). For the purposes of this guidance, EPA encourages agencies to consider all internal and external costs associated with a product, process, or activity throughout its entire life cycle from raw materials acquisition to manufacture, recycling and final disposal.
LLDPE - Linear low density polyethylene. A plastic that is used predominantly in film applications due to its toughness, flexibility, and relative transparency.
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Materials in Solid Waste - Materials found in the various components of the solid waste stream. Generally, solid waste has several components, such as municipal solid waste (MSW), construction and demolition debris (C&D), and nonhazardous industrial waste. Under RCRA Section 6002, EPA considers materials recovered from any component of the solid waste stream when designating items containing recovered materials.
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Neurotoxicity - any adverse change in the development, structure, or function of the central and peripheral nervous system following exposure to a chemical agent (59 FR 42272, August 17, 1994.)
Nitrogen Oxides (NOx) - Formed when nitrogen (N2) combines with oxygen (O2) in the burning of fossil fuels and from the natural degradation of vegetation, and from the use of chemical fertilizers. A significant component of acid deposition and photochemical smog.
Non-hazardous waste - solid waste as defined in 40 CFR 261.3. Includes municipal solid waste, large volume waste (e.g., oil and gas, mining, etc.) and solids disposed of in surface impoundments.
Non-renewable resource consumption - those resources consumed that are not renewable in 200 years (e.g., fossil fuels, minerals). This can serve as an indicator of acid rain, climate change potential, air pollution, and associated human health risks and risks to endangered species and fragile ecosystems.
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Ozone depleting chemicals - defined in the Protection of Stratospheric Ozone Final Rule. (58 FR 65018, December 10, 1993.)
- P - Q -
PE - Polyethylene. A flexible plastic used in many household items including plastic wrap and food containers.
PET - Polyethylene Terephthalate. A thermoplastic material used to manufacture plastic soft drink containers and rigid containers.
Pollution prevention - "source reduction," as defined under the Pollution Prevention Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. § 13102), and other practices that reduce or eliminate the creation of pollutants through: increased efficiency in the use of raw materials, energy, water, or other resources; or protection of natural resources by conservation. The Pollution Prevention Act defines source reduction to mean any practice that:
Reduces the amount of any hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant entering any waste stream or otherwise released into the environment (including fugitive emissions) prior to recycling, treatment, or disposal
Reduces the hazards to public health and the environment associated with the release of such substances, pollutants, or contaminants. The term includes: equipment or technology modifications, process or procedure modifications, reformulation or redesign of products, substitution of raw materials, and improvements in housekeeping, maintenance, training, or inventory control.
Post-consumer material - Refers to a material or finished product that has served its intended use and has been discarded for disposal or recovery, having completed its life as a consumer item. "Post-consumer material" is part of the broader category of "recovered material."
Post-industrial materials - Recovered industrial and manufacturing materials that are diverted from municipal solid waste for the purpose of collection, recycling, and disposition. Postindustrial materials are part of the broader category of "recovered materials."
PP - Polypropylene. A plastic polymer that has good resistance to heat and is used in flexible and rigid packaging, film, and textiles.
Pre-consumer materials - Materials generated in manufacturing and processes such as manufacturing scrap and trimmings and cuttings. Includes print overruns, overissue publications, and obsolete inventories.
PS - Polystyrene. A plastic polymer used to make a variety of products including plastic cutlery and food containers. It is often used in its foamed state.
PVC - Polyvinyl chloride. A family of plastic copolymers, also known as vinyl. PVC is used to make products such as pipes, bottles, upholstery, and automotive parts.
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Reactivity - The tendency of a solid waste to exhibit harmful characteristics when in contact with other substances. For instance, the waste could be unstable, react violently with water, generate toxic gases or fumes, or explode or detonate if heated under confinement. Reactivity is defined at length in 40 CFR 261.23.
Reconditioned/Remanufactured - Refers to the process of restoring used, durable products to meet original performance standards. Remanufacturing has many other names, including: rebuilding (automotive sector); retreading (tire remanufacturing); reconditioning; and refurbishing. Remanufacturing results in less waste and raw material and energy use.
Recovered materials - Refers to waste materials and by-products which have been recovered or diverted from solid waste, but does not include those materials and by-products generated from, and commonly reused within, an original manufacturing process (42 U.S.C. 6903 (19)).
Recycled content - Materials that have been recovered from the solid waste stream, either during the manufacturing process (pre-consumer), or after consumer use (post-consumer) (see Federal Trade Commission Environmental Marketing Guides mentioned above for more detail). Executive agencies are required to purchase EPA-designated items with recycled content (40 C.F.R. Part 247). Purchasers may want to consider whether the material contains pre-consumer or post-consumer recycled content. Recycled content, under the Federal Trade Commission guides, includes recycled raw material, that would have otherwise been incinerated or land filled, as well as used, reconditioned and remanufactured components. For products that are only partially made of recycled material, a recycled claim should indicate the percentage, by weight, of recycled content in the finished product. Unless it is otherwise clear from the context of the sale, for products that contain used, reconditioned or remanufactured components, a recycled claim should make clear that such components are used, reconditioned or remanufactured. Manufacturers scrap material that would have, in any case, been incorporated into the product does not qualify as recycled under the Federal Trade Commissions guides. Refer to 16 C.F.R. § 260.7(e).
Recyclability - Refers to products or materials that can be collected, separated or otherwise recovered from the solid waste stream for reuse, or in the manufacture or assembly of another package or product, through an established recycling program. For products that are made of both recyclable and non-recyclable components, the recyclable claim should be adequately qualified to avoid consumer deception about which portions or components are recyclable. In addition, unless recycling collection programs for the product are available to a substantial majority of communities or consumers where the product is sold, claims of recyclability need to be qualified to indicate the limited of availability of recycling collection sites. A product that is made from recyclable material, but, due to its shape, size or some other attribute, is not accepted in recycling programs for such material, should not be marketed as recyclable. Refer to the FTC Environmental Marketing Guides, 16 C.F.R. § 260.7(d).
Renewable resource consumption - refers to a continuum of resources, from those that are renewable in under 200 years, such as timber-based products, which can serve as an indicator of biodiversity loss and increased erosion, to those, which are renewable in less than 2 years, such as grain-based feed stocks.
Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) - RCRA gave EPA the authority to control hazardous waste from the "cradle-to-grave." This includes the generation, transportation, treatment, storage, and disposal of hazardous waste. RCRA also set forth a framework for the management of non-hazardous wastes. RCRA focuses only on active and future facilities and does not address abandoned or historical sites.
Reusability - Refers to how many times a product may be reused. Since reusable products generally require more up-front costs than disposable products, they are often subjected to a cost/benefit analysis in order to determine the life cycle cost.
RMAN - Recovered Materials Advisory Notices (RMANs) provide purchasing guidance and recommend recovered and postconsumer material content levels for designated items. RMAN recommendations are guidance and therefore are not codified in the Code of Federal Regulations.
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Sensitization - an immunologically mediated cutaneous reaction to a substance. EPA test methods for evaluating sensitization potential are found in 40 CFR part 798.4100.
Sulphur Oxides (SOx) - Compounds of sulphur of oxygen - the two major ones being sulphur dioxide (SO2) and sulphur trioxide (SO3). They are significant contributors to acid deposition.
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Take-back - Refers to the manufacturer or designee accepting a return of end-of-life product; who pays for the transportation of the product may be situation-specific.
Terrestrial species toxicity - the potential of a substance to have an adverse effect on terrestrial species, other than man.
Toxic chemical release - The release of toxic chemicals into the environment through transportation, manufacturing, and other uses and treatments.
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Volatile organic compound (VOC) - Any compound of carbon, excluding carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, carbonic acid, metallic carbides or carbonates, and ammonium carbonate, which participates in atmospheric photochemical reactions.
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Waste prevention - also known as source reduction, refers to any change in the design, manufacturing, purchase, or use of materials or products (including packaging) to reduce their amount or toxicity before they become municipal solid waste. Waste prevention also refers to the reuse of products or materials.
Waste reduction - Refers to preventing or decreasing the amount of waste being generated through waste prevention, recycling, or purchasing recycled and environmentally preferable products.
Water consumption - refers to the water resources that are consumed or used, which can serve as an indicator of water quality impacts, risks to aquatic ecosystems, and degradation of drinking water resources.
Water efficiency - Refers to any plumbing fixtures that meet or exceed the Department of Energy's fderal Energy Management Program recommended performance standards for flow rates.
Water pollutants - Generally, any substance introduced into water that adversely affects the usefulness of water as a resource or the health of humans, animals, or ecosystems.