OBJECTIVE--The aim was to assess the significance of two biomarkers; antibody to benzo(a)pyrene DNA adducts and concentration of hydroxyethylvaline haemoglobin adducts in samples from a well studied group of coke oven workers. As a measure of exposure we have used 1-hydroxypyrene in urine. METHODS--Urine and blood samples were collected from coke oven workers and a control group. Samples from coke oven plant workers were collected in January and June. 1-Hydroxypyrene was measured in urine by high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), antibodies to benzo(a)pyrene DNA adducts were measured by ELISA and hydroxyethylvaline haemoglobin adducts were measured by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). RESULTS--Mean urinary 1-hydroxypyrene in samples from coke oven workers varied from 1.11 to 5.53 umol/mol creatinine and 0.14 umol/mol creatinine in the control group. Workers at the top side had the highest values of urinary 1-hydroxypyrene. Antibody to benzo(a)pyrene DNA adducts did not correlate with either 1-hydroxypyrene nor length of work at the coke oven plant. But antibody concentration in samples collected in January was predictive of the concentration in samples collected in June. A small non-significant increase in hydroxyethylvaline haemoglobin adducts was found in samples from coke oven workers relative to the control group when comparing smokers and nonsmokers separately. CONCLUSION--1-Hydroxypyrene correlates well with exposure groups based on job description. Antibodies to benzo(a)-pyrene DNA adducts was related to people and not exposure. Work at a coke oven plant might lead to increased hydroxyethylvaline haemoglobin adducts.
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