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Urinary excretion of hippuric acid and m- or p-methylhippuric acid in the urine of persons exposed to vapours of toluene and m- or p-xylene as a test of exposure
  1. Masana Ogata,
  2. Katsumaro Tomokuni,
  3. Yohiko Takatsuka
  1. Department of Public Health, Okayama University Medical School, Okayama, Japan

    Abstract

    Ogata, M., Tomokuni, K., and Takatsuka, Y. (1970).Brit. J. industr. Med.,27, 43-50. Urinary excretion of hippuric acid and m- or p-methylhippuric acid in the urine of persons exposed to vapours of toluene and m- or p-xylene as a test of exposure. Twenty-three male volunteers were exposed in groups of four or five to toluene and m- and p-xylene vapour for periods of 3 hours or of 7 hours with one break of an hour. Urine was collected at hourly intervals for several hours, and thereafter all urine was collected until 18 hours after the end of the exposure period, and was analysed for hippuric and methylhippuric acids. It was shown that hippuric acid was excreted equivalent to 68% of the toluene absorbed, and m-methylhippuric acid equivalent to 72% of the m-xylene absorbed. Up to hydrocarbon concentrations of 200 ppm the total quantity of hippuric acids excerted was proportional to the total exposure (ppm × hours). In descending order of precision the following were also related to exposure: rate of excretion during the exposure period; concentrations of hippuric acid in urine corrected to constant urine density; and concentrations in urine uncorrected for density. The last could not be used to calculate exposure, but the others could be to give screening tests to show whether workmen could have been exposed to concentrations greater than the maximum allowable.

    The effects of exposure on blood pressure, pulse rate, flicker value, and reaction time were measured. There were some variations which suggested that the MAC of toluene should be set higher than 200 ppm.

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