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Analyst. 1997 Jan;122(1):51-6.

Biomarkers in hydrolysed urine, plasma and erythrocytes among workers exposed to thermal degradation products from toluene diisocyanate foam.

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Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, University Hospital, Lund, Sweden.


Blood and urine samples were collected from six workers and two volunteers exposed to thermal degradation products from toluene diisocyanate (TDI)-based polyurethane (PUR) before and during the summer vacation. Air samples were collected on filters impregnated with 9-(N-methylaminomethyl)anthracene. The concentrations of the amines corresponding to 2,4- and 2,6-TDI, i.e., 2,4- and 2,6-toluenediamine (TDA), were determined in urine (U-TDA), plasma (P-TDA) and erythrocytes (E-TDA) after acid hydrolysis as pentafluoropropionic anhydride derivatives by GC-MS. Among the workers urinary elimination phases were seen. The estimated medians of the urinary half-lives were for the slow phase 18 d for 2,4-TDA and 19 d for 2,6-TDA. P-2,4-TDA ranged between 2.5 and 19 ng ml-1 and P-2,6-TDA between 4.4 and 30 ng ml-1. The estimated median of the half-lives in plasma were 7.8 d for 2,4-TDA and 9.6 d for 2,6-TDA. E-2,4-TDA ranged between 0.5 and 6.6 ng g-1 and E-2,6-TDA between 1.2 and 14 ng g-1. A significant linear relationship was found between the mean P-TDA and the mean E-TDA. Linear relationships were observed between the mean daily U-TDA and P-TDA and E-TDA. Virtually linear relationships were obtained for P-TDA and E-TDA and the TDI air levels. Proteins from lysed erythrocytes were separated and fractionated by gel filtration. 'TDI'-modified proteins were found in six out of a total of 80 fractions (fractions 51-56). These co-eluted completely with the haemoglobin (UV, 415 nm). Fractions 51-56 contained 89% of the applied amounts of 2,4-TDA and 81% of 2,6-TDA.

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