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Biological monitoring of workers exposed to ethylbenzene and co-exposed to xylene.

Jang, JY  | Droz, PO | Kim, S
International archives of occupational and environmental health, 74(1). : 31-37, 2001
Journal Title
International archives of occupational and environmental health
OBJECTIVE: Ethylbenzene is an important constituent of widely used solvent mixtures in industry. The objective of the present study was to provide information about biological monitoring of occupational exposure to ethylbenzene, and to review the biological limit values corresponding to the threshold limit value of ethylbenzene.

METHODS: A total of 20 male workers who had been exposed to a mixture of ethylbenzene and xylene, through painting and solvent mixing with commercial xylene in a metal industry, were recruited into this study. Environmental and biological monitoring were performed during an entire week. The urinary metabolites monitored were mandelic acid for ethylbenzene and methylhippuric acid for xylene. Correlations were analyzed between urinary metabolites and environmental exposure for ethylbenzene and xylene. The interaction effects of a binary exposure to ethylbenzene and xylene were also investigated using a physiologically based pharmacokinetic (PBPK) model.

RESULTS: The average environmental concentration of organic solvents was 12.77 ppm for xylene, and 3.42 ppm for ethylbenzene. A significant correlation (R2 = 0.503) was found between environmental xylene and urinary methylhippuric acid. Urinary level of methylhippuric acid corresponding to 100 ppm of xylene was 1.96 g/g creatinine in the worker study, whereas it was calculated as 1.55 g/g creatinine by the PBPK model. Urinary level of mandelic acid corresponding to 100 ppm of ethylbenzene was found to be 0.7 g/g creatinine. PBPK results showed that the metabolism of ethylbenzene was highly depressed by co-exposure to high concentrations of xylene leading to a non-linear behavior.

CONCLUSIONS: At low exposures, both methylhippuric acid and mandelic acid can be used as indicators of commercial xylene exposures. However at higher concentrations mandelic acid cannot be recommended as a biological indicator due to the saturation of mandelic acid produced by the co-exposure to xylene.

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Journal Papers > School of Medicine / Graduate School of Medicine > Preventive Medicine & Public Health
Ajou Authors
장, 재연
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