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Int Arch Occup Environ Health. 2001 Jan;74(1):59-62.

Urinary 1-hydroxypyrene and 2-naphthol concentrations in male Koreans.

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Department of Preventive Medicine, College of Medicine, Chungbuk National University, 48 San Kaeshin-dong, Hungdok-gu, Cheongju, Chungbuk 361-763, S. Korea.



Urinary 1-hydroxypyrene (1-OHP) has been used as a biological marker of exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), and urinary 2-naphthol is suggested as a new marker for route-specific exposure to airborne PAHs. We analyzed urinary 1-OHP and 2-naphthol concentrations in 292 male Koreans (129 university students and 163 shipyard workers) to define the distribution pattern in Koreans with no or low occupational exposure to PAHs.


Histories of cigarette smoking and the eating of PAH-containing foods were obtained by a self-administered structured questionnaire. Urine samples were collected and urinary 1-OHP and 2-naphthol concentrations were measured using high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC).


The arithmetic (geometric) means of urinary 1-OHP and 2-naphthol concentrations for all students, expressed as micromoles per mole of creatinine, were 0.04 (0.04) and 3.12 (2.22), for non-smokers 0.03 (0.03) and 1.78 (1.30) and for smokers 0.05 (0.03) and 4.36 (3.62), respectively. Among shipyard workers, the arithmetic (geometric) means of urinary 1-OHP and 2-naphthol concentrations were 0.69 (0.31) and 4.37 (2.62) for all, 0.27 (0.18) and 2.46 (1.16) for nonsmokers, and 0.97 (0.44) and 5.60 (4.44) for smokers, respectively. Mean urinary 1-OHP and 2-naphthol concentrations differed significantly between nonsmokers and smokers both in students and in shipyard workers. In smokers, some variables related to smoking habit were positively correlated with urinary 1-OHP and with 2-naphthol concentrations. The latter showed better correlations with the variables related to smoking amount than the former. None of the food-related factors was significantly correlated with urinary 1-OHP or 2-naphthol concentration.


These results suggest that urinary 2-naphthol concentration is more sensitively affected by smoking status than urinary 1-OHP concentration and that urinary 2-naphthol is a sensitive marker for low-level inhalation of PAHs.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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