2,5-Hexanedione is a main metabolite of n-hexane and is considered as the cause of n-hexane polyneuropathy. Therefore, it is useful to measure 2,5-hexanedione for biological monitoring of exposure to n-hexane. The analytical methods existing for n-hexane metabolites, however, were controversial and not established enough. Hence, a simple and precise method for determination of urinary 2,5-hexanedione has been developed. Five ml of urine was acidified to pH 0.5 with concentrated hydrochloric acid and heated for 30 minutes at 90-100 degrees C. After cooling in water, sodium chloride and dichloromethane containing internal standard were added. The sample was shaken and centrifuged. 2,5-Hexanedione concentration in an aliquot of dichloromethane extract was quantified by gas chromatography using a widebore column (DB-1701). Urinary concentration of 2,5-hexanedione showed a good correlation with exposure to n-hexane (n = 50, r = 0.973, p less than 0.001). This method is simple and precise for analysis of urinary 2,5-hexanedione as an index of exposure to n-hexane.
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