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Chemosphere. 2016 Jul;155:48-56. doi: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2016.04.017. Epub 2016 Apr 19.

Investigating unmetabolized polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in adolescents' urine as biomarkers of environmental exposure.

Author information

1
Department of Analytical, Environmental and Geochemistry (AMGC), Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), Pleinlaan 2, 1050 Elsene, Belgium. Electronic address: sam.de.craemer@vub.ac.be.
2
Department of Analytical, Environmental and Geochemistry (AMGC), Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), Pleinlaan 2, 1050 Elsene, Belgium.
3
Department of Analytical, Environmental and Geochemistry (AMGC), Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), Pleinlaan 2, 1050 Elsene, Belgium; Study Centre for Carcinogenesis and Primary Prevention of Cancer, Department of Radiotherapy and Nuclear Medicine, Ghent University, Belgium.
4
Department of Public Health, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium.
5
Environmental Risk and Health, Flemish Institute for Technological Research (VITO), Mol, Belgium.
6
Faculty of Political and Social Sciences, University of Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium.
7
Centre for Environmental Sciences, Hasselt University, Diepenbeek, Belgium; Department of Public Health & Primary Care, Occupational & Environmental Medicine, Leuven University (KU Leuven), Leuven, Belgium.
8
Provincial Institute of Hygiene, Antwerp, Belgium.
9
Department of Prevention, Fondazione IRCCS Ca' Granda Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, Milan, Italy.
10
Department of Clinical Sciences and Community Health, Università degli Studi di Milano, Milan, Italy; Department of Prevention, Fondazione IRCCS Ca' Granda Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, Milan, Italy.

Abstract

Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are of interest to human biomonitoring studies due to their carcinogenic potential. Traditionally metabolites of these compounds, like 1-hydroxypyrene, are monitored in urine, but recent methods allow the determination of the parent compounds in urine, which give additional information regarding sources and toxicity of PAHs. In order to assess the feasibility of incorporating these methods in a human biomonitoring study, the 16 USEPA parent PAHs were determined in 20 urine samples. These samples were obtained from 10 boys and 10 girls aged 14-16 years, participating in the third Flemish Environment and Health Study (Flanders, Belgium). Of these 16 parent PAHs, nine could be determined in more than 95% of the samples and three (including benzo(a)pyrene) in more than 50%. Several correlations were found between different PAHs, but not between pyrene and its metabolite 1-hydroxypyrene. Diagnostic PAH ratios in urine and air samples pointed towards combustion sources and are in line with the ratios in environmental samples. Benzo(a)pyrene, naphthalene and fluorene have the highest carcinogenic potential in our cohort, when using toxic equivalency factors. Some associations between PAH congeners and determinants of exposure were found, while fluorene and acenaphthylene were positively associated with thyroid hormone levels and benzo(a)pyrene showed a positive correlation with DNA damage by comet assay. These results confirm that parent PAHs in urine are useful as biomarkers of exposure in biomonitoring studies.

KEYWORDS:

Benzo(a)pyrene; Carcinogenic; Determinants; FLEHS; Health; Human biomonitoring

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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