In the most literal sense, a footprint is the mark made on the ground by a foot or a shoe. Footprint is also used in a figurative sense to refer to the area that something covers, or to an effect, impression, or impact made by someone or something.
The thieves thought they had left no evidence after they robbed the house, but the police found footprints, which they used to track down the suspects.
Online programs have allowed many universities to expand their geographic footprint and reach students who for some reason or another cannot pursue a traditional degree.
Footprint also means the environmental impact that a person, thing, or action produces. Carbon footprint in particular refers to the total amount of greenhouse gas emissions produced by an organization, event, product, or person.
Many people are concerned about reducing their carbon footprint because greenhouse gases produce global warming.
A biohazard is a biological agent or condition, like a virus or unsafe lab procedures, that poses a risk to human health or to the environment. Biohazard can also be used to refer to the risk or danger posed by being exposed to such agents or conditions. The adjective form is biohazardous.
Hospitals have special trash bins for the disposal of biohazardous materials in order to prevent the spread of diseases.
Only certain hospitals are adequately equipped to treat ebola because doctors and staff must undergo special training to know the procedures for using the appropriate methods to prevent the disease and dispose of biohazards.
Many biohazards are pathogens: viruses, bacteria, or other agents that cause disease. The set of procedures intended to protect humans or animals from pathogens is called biosecurity.
Laboratories that work with highly contagious pathogens must train their technicians in special procedures to protect their health and that of the general public.
The lab technician explained that the lab in the capital was the only one that could confirm diagnoses of the flu because the regional labs didn't have a high enough biosecurity level.