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Int J Environ Health Res. 2009 Oct;19(5):369-77. doi: 10.1080/09603120903079349.

A study of factors influencing urinary arsenic excretion in exposed workers.

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Department of Internal Medicine and Public Health, Section of Occupational Medicine B. Ramazzini, University of Bari, Bari, Italy.


This study was designed to evaluate the influence of occupational and non-occupational factors on urinary arsenic excretion in workers exposed to iAs (inorganic arsenic) in the dismantlement of a factory which once produced fertilisers. We measured iAs and its methylated metabolites in 108 urinary samples of workers exposed to iAs in July 2006. A total of 13.9% of the samples showed levels higher than the Biological Exposure Index (BEI) of 35 microg/l (mean value 23.9 microg/l). After the improvement of working conditions, in August-October 2006 we collected urinary samples from each of the 108 workers enrolled. We also administrated a questionnaire, in order to investigate the influence of occupational and non-occupational factors on the urinary arsenic excretion. A significant difference was observed in relation with seafood consumption and age stratification. We have found a significant reduction of urinary arsenic excretion between the two phases of biological monitoring, probably due to appropriate hygiene work-related interventions.

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