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Sci Total Environ. 1997 Jun 20;199(1-2):141-9.

Methods for routine biological monitoring of carcinogenic PAH-mixtures.

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IndusTox Consult, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.


The ability of a biomarker to provide an assessment of the integrated individual dose following uptake through multiple routes is especially valuable for mixtures of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH), due to methodological and practical difficulties of collecting and analysing samples from the various environmental compartments like air, water and soil and various media such as diet, cigarette smoke and workroom air. Since 1980, a large variety of novel approaches and techniques have been suggested and tested, e.g. urinary thioethers, mutagenicity in urine, levels of PAH or PAH-metabolites in blood and urine and methods for determination of adducts in DNA and proteins. Two approaches are more frequently reported: PAH-DNA-adduct monitoring in blood cells and urinary 1-hydroxypyrene monitoring. A large research effort has been made to use the extent of binding of PAH to DNA as a biomarker of exposure. The 32P-post-labeling assay detects the total of aromatic DNA-adducts and the adduct level in white blood cells is claimed to be an indicator of the biological effect of the PAH-mixture. However, the levels of aromatic DNA-adducts may be subject to appreciable analytical and biological variation. The present technical complexity of the method makes it more convenient for research applications than for routine application in occupational health practice. Pyrene is a dominant compound in the PAH mixture and is mainly metabolised to the intermediary 1-hydroxypyrene to form 1-hydroxypyrene-glucuronide, which is excreted in urine. Since the introduction of the determination of 1-hydroxypyrene in urine as a biomarker for human exposure assessment in 1985, many reports from different countries from Europe, Asia and America confirmed the potential of this novel approach. The conclusion of the first international workshop on 1-hydroxypyrene in 1993 was that urinary 1-hydroxypyrene is a solid biological exposure indicator of PAH. Studies with a comparison of several biomarkers confirmed that 1-hydroxypyrene in urine is a valid and sensitive indicator of exposure. Periodical monitoring of 1-hydroxypyrene appears to be a powerful method in controlling occupational PAH-exposure in industries. The reference level and the biological exposure limit of 1-hydroxypyrene in urine are discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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