Biomarkers of exposure to aromatic hydrocarbons and methyl tert-butyl ether in petrol station workers.

Biomarkers : biochemical indicators of exposure, response, and susceptibility to chemicals (2012-03-31)
Giuseppe De Palma, Diana Poli, Paola Manini, Roberta Andreoli, Paola Mozzoni, Pietro Apostoli, Antonio Mutti
RESUMEN

This cross-sectional study was aimed at reconstructing the exposure to gasoline in 102 petrol station attendants by environmental and biological monitoring of benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylene (BTEX) and biomonitoring of methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE). Airborne BTEX were higher for manual refuelers than self-service assistants and were highly correlated with each other. Significant relationships were found between airborne BTX and the corresponding urinary solvents (U-BTX) and beween airborne B and urinary MTBE (U-MTBE). Smokers eliminated higher values of U-B, trans,trans-muconic (t,t-MA) and S-phenylmercapturic (S-PMA) acids but not U-MTBE. All these biomarkers were, however, significantly raised during the shift, independently from smoking. Linear regression confirmed that occupational exposure was a main predictor of U-MTBE, U-B and S-PMA values, both the latter confounded by smoking habits. The study supports the usefulness of biomonitoring even at low exposure levels.

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