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Urinary polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and monohydroxy metabolites as biomarkers of exposure in Coke-Oven workers
  1. Federica Rossella (federica_rossella{at}yahoo.it)
  1. Dep. Occup and Environ. Med., Univ. of Milan and Fondazione IRCCS Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, Italy
    1. Laura Campo (laura.campo{at}unimi.it)
    1. Dep. Occup and Environ. Med., Univ. of Milan and Fondazione IRCCS Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, Italy
      1. Sofia Pavanello (sofia.pavanello{at}unipd.it)
      1. Department of Environmental Medicine and Public Health, University of Padua, Italy
        1. Lucyna Kapka
        1. Institute of Agricultural Medicine, Lubin, Poland
          1. Ewa Siwinska
          1. Institute of Occupational Medicine and Environmental HeaIt, Sosnowiec, Poland
            1. Silvia Fustinoni (silvia.fustinoni{at}unimi.it)
            1. Dep. Occup and Environ. Med., Univ. of Milan and Fondazione IRCCS Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, Italy

              Abstract

              Objectives: To assess exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in coke oven workers using 13 unmetabolized PAHs (U-PAHs) and 12 monohydroxy metabolites (OHPAHs) in urine, and to make a comparative evaluation of the use of these biomarkers.

              Methods: Fifty five male Polish coke oven workers collected urine spot samples at the end of the workshift. U-PAHs (naphthalene, acenaphtylene, acenaphthene, fluorene, phenanthrene, anthracene, fluoranthene, pyrene, benzo[a]anthracene, chrysene, benzo[k]fluoranthene, benzo[b]fluoranthene, benzo[a]pyrene) were determined by automatic solid phase micro-extraction followed by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS). OHPAHs (1- and 2-hydroxynaphthalene, 2- and 9-hydroxyfluorene, 4-, 9-, 3-, 1- and 2-hydroxyphenanthrene, 1-hydroxypyrene, 6-hydroxychrysene, 3-hydroxybenzo[a]pyrene) were determined, after liquid/liquid extraction and derivatization, by GC/MS.

              Results: U-PAHs, from naphthalene to chrysene, were found in 100% of the samples, while heavier U-PAHs were detected in 7 - 22% of the samples. OHPAHs up to 1-hydroxypyrene were found in 100% of the samples, while 6-hydroxychrysene and 3-hydroxybenzo[a]pyrene were always below the quantification limit. Median naphthalene, phenanthrene, pyrene, chrysene, and benzo[a]anthracene were 0.806, 0.721, 0.020, 0.032 and 0.035 µg/L, while hydroxynaphthalenes, hydroxyphenanthrenes, and 1-hydroxypyrene were 81.1, 18.9, and 15.4 µg/L. For each chemical, the ratio between U-PAH and the corresponding OHPAH ranged from 1:26 to 1:1000. Significant correlations between logged values of U-PAHs and OHPAHs, between U-PAHs, and between OHPAHs were found, with Pearson’s r ranging from 0.27 to 0.97.

              Conclusion: Analytical techniques currently available allow specific and simultaneous measurement of several urinary determinants of PAHs in humans. The results of these measurements support the use of U-PAHs as biomarkers of exposure and open the possibility of enlarging the spectrum of chemicals to be investigated, including carcinogenic chrysene and benzo[a]anthracene.

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