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The comparison of an instrument response to known values of a parameter being measured.


A disease characterized by malignant, uncontrolled cell growth in body tissue.


A substance capable of producing cancer in a living organism.

Caudate Nucleus

Part of basal ganglia; damage causes forms of aphasia.


Constant Air Volume - Refers to a type of HVAC system where air volume is constant and airstream is either heated or cooled so as to maintain a constant temperature.

Ceiling Plenum

Space below the flooring and above the suspended ceiling that accommodates the mechanical and electrical equipment and is used as part of the air distribution system. The space is kept under negative pressure.

Cellular toxicant

A chemical which acts as a poison by temperature to meet heating and cooling needs.

Cephalea (cephalgia)

Headache, pain in the head.


Occupies most of the posterior cranial fossa; damage produces ataxia, slurring of speech.

Cerebral Cortex

Expansive mass of brain tissue covering the older parts of the brain including cerebral hemispheres and formed of sulci, consisting of 4 parts (frontal, parietal, occipital, temporal); 6th division of the C.N.S.; involved in vision, hearing, learning, memory, association, etc.

Cerebral Hemispheres

Made up of the basal ganglia, hippocampus and amygdala; overlaid by cerebral cortex; affects emotion, learning.


Cubic feet per minute

Chemical sensitivity

Health problems characterized by effects such as dizziness, eye and throat irritation, chest tightness, and nasal congestion that appear whenever individuals are exposed to certain chemicals. People may react to even trace amounts of chemicals to which they have become sensitized.

Cheyne Stokes

Characterized by rhythmic waxing and waning of the depth of ventilation, with a regular pattern of apnea, hyperventilation, etc.


Widespread arrhythmic movements of a forcible, rapid, jerky, restless type; movements are irregular and variable, but continuous. They may be simple or quite elaborate, and affect any part of body. Can be caused by damage to caudate nucleus.


A condition involving relatively long periods of time. For CO exposure, chronic is defined as an exposure of 10-15 hrs or more, and may involve one or cycles of exposure.

Chronic effects

Those occurring after repeated long-term exposure and are seen months or years after initiation of exposure.


(Interagency) Committee on Indoor Air Quality.


Short, specialized extensions of cells that appear hair-like, often arranged in rows, and present in large numbers. In the human respiratory system, cilia act to propel mucous slowly upwards, removing captured foreign particles.


Air moved through the furnace heat exchanger and then through the house to provide heating or cooling. This may not have any outside air.


Visually free of sludge, sediment, slime, algae, fungi, rust and scale.


Physical and/or chemical removal of scale, corrosion, biofilm, sludge, sediment and extraneous matter.


Carbon monoxide


Carbon dioxide


Component of HVAC system that acts as a heat exchanger, either adding heat or taking heat away from the air stream.

Colony Forming Unit (cfu)

A colony arising from a viable unit of one bacterium or more in a clump. For statistical significance, only those plates with 30 to 300 cfu's are selected for counting.


Additional air brought into the house to allow furnaces, boilers, clothes dryers, ranges and domestic hot water heaters to burn. If the appliance has "sealed" combustion this air will not affect the air within the house.


Start-up of a building that includes testing and adjusting HVAC, electrical, plumbing, and other systems to assure proper functioning and adherence to design criteria. Commissioning also includes the instruction of building representatives in the use of the building.


The process of changing a vapor to a liquid by extracting heat from the vapor.

Conditioned air

Air that has been heated, cooled, humidified, or dehumidified to maintain an interior space within the comfort zone (Sometimes referred to as tempered air).


The ability of water to conduct electricity. Conductivity measurement is used for estimating the amount of total dissolved solids in water.

Constant Air Volume (CAV) System

Refers to a type of HVAC system where air volume is constant and airstream is either heated or cooled so as to maintain a constant temperature.

Constant volume systems

Air handling systems that are designed to provide constant airflow and vary air.


Movement of molecules (gases) from a region of higher air pressure to a region of lower air pressure. Airflow can also be induced by a temperature gradient (e.g., stack effect).


Consumer Product Safety Commission

Criteria Air Pollutants

Include sulfur dioxide, particulates, lead, ozone, nitrogen oxides, and carbon monoxide, all designated by the EPA and which have national standards under the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS).

Cyclic patterns of symptoms

One or more symptoms which occur at regular intervals (e.g., every morning).