A method using thin-layer chromatography is described to determine the concentration of hippuric acid, mandelic acid, and phenylglyoxylic acid present in the urine after occupational mixed exposure to toluene and styrene. These substances are known metabolites of toluene and styrene, and therefore the evaluation to mixed exposure to toluene and styrene may be carried out separating these metabolites beforehand. Procedures are proposed to separate the metabolites as follows: (1) separation of hippuric acid from mandelic acid, (2) separation of mandelic acid from phenylglyoxylic acid, and (3) separation of hippuric acid and mandelic acid from phenylglyoxylic acid. The developing reagent p-dimethylaminobenzaldehyde in acetic acid anhydride was used after separation on Kieselgel and Silicagel. The sensitivity of the method was 6 microgram of hippuric acid, 10 microgram of mandelic acid, and 7 microgram of phenylglyoxylic acid with an average recovery of 94%.
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