Background level

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Term Background level
Description The normal concentration of a chemical in the environment.
Definition Background level

1. In air pollution, the level of pollutants present in ambient air from natural sources. 2. More generally, the level of pollution present in any environmental medium attributable to natural or ubiquitous sources.  Two types of background levels may exist for chemical substances: (a) Naturally occurring levels: Ambient concentrations of substances present in the environment, without human influence; (b) Anthropogenic levels: Concentrations of substances present in the environment due to human-made, non-site sources (e.g., automobiles, industries). The amount of an agent in a medium (e.g., water, soil) that is not attributed to the source(s) under investigation in an exposure assessment. Can be naturally occurring or anthropogenic. (Note: natural background is the concentration of an agent in a medium that occurs naturally or is not the result of human activities)


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