"A number of terms (e.g., "toxic chemicals," "toxic pollutants," "toxic waste," and similar nomenclature) refer to substances that are subject to regulation under one or more federal environmental laws. State laws and regulations also provide additional, similar, or identical terminology that may be confused with the federally defined terms. Many of these terms appear synonymous, and it is easy to use them interchangeably. However, in the regulatory context, inappropriate use or narrowly defined terms can lead to confusion about the substances referred to, the statutory provisions that may apply, and the regulatory requirements for compliance under the applicable federal statutes."
Read more about 'Toxic Terminology' in the U.S. Department of Energy's CERCLA Information Brief EH-213-004/0191, which provides regulatory definitions and references for the precise terminology that should be used when referring to "toxic" substances regulated under federal environmental law.
Having to do with poison or something harmful to the body. Toxic substances usually cause unwanted side effects.
Capable of causing injury or death, especially by chemical means. Poisonous.
Able to cause injury to living organisms as a result of physicochemical interaction.
Harmful to living organisms; poisonous.
Nonliving poisons that are the products of animals, vegetables, or micro-organisms. These poisons can kill or incapacitate when they are inhaled, swallowed, or injected into humans or animals. Snake venom is an example of a toxin.