Urinary concentrations of metabolites of monochlorobenzene were examined in 10 male workers exposed to the compound while synthesising intermediate products for dyes. Their individual exposure concentrations were monitored for the whole workshift and samples of urine were collected at the start and end of the workshift, during it, and during the noon recess. The concentrations of four metabolites, 4-chlorocatechol and o-, m-, and p-chlorophenol, in the urine samples were measured. The investigation was performed on Monday and Tuesday in one week and on Tuesday and Wednesday in another week. The concentrations of 4-chlorocatechol in urine collected during the last four hours and at the end of the workshift were proportional to the eight hour time weighted average exposure to monochlorobenzene. The concentration in urine collected during the noon recess showed a linear correlation with the four hour time weighted average in the morning. Similarly, linear relations were obtained for urinary p-chlorophenol. The ratio (as monochlorobenzene) of p-chlorophenol to 4-chlorocatechol concentrations at the start of the workshift was 0.39 and at the end of the workshift was 0.22. The ratios of the urinary concentrations 15 hours after exposure to those at the end of exposure were 0.24 for 4-chlorocatechol and 0.44 for p-chlorophenol. The present study also showed that variations in exposure at the workplace were reflected by changes in concentrations of urinary metabolites during the workshift.
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