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Acrylonitrile exposure assessment in the emergency responders of a major train accident in Belgium: a human biomonitoring study.

Toxicology letters (2014-08-17)
A Van Nieuwenhuyse, S Fierens, T De Smedt, K De Cremer, C Vleminckx, B Mertens, I Van Overmeire, M Bader, P De Paepe, T Göen, B Nemery, T Schettgen, C Stove, H Van Oyen, J Van Loco
ABSTRACT

On May 4, 2013, a train transporting chemicals derailed in Wetteren, Belgium. Several tanks loaded with acrylonitrile (ACN) exploded, resulting in a fire and a leakage of ACN. To determine exposure to ACN and to assess discriminating factors for ACN exposure in the emergency responders involved in the on-site management of the train accident. The study population consisted of 841 emergency responders. Between May 21 and June 28, they gave blood for the determination of N-2-cyanoethylvaline (CEV) hemoglobin adducts and urine for the measurement of cotinine. They also filled in a short questionnaire. 163 (26%) non-smokers and 55 (27%) smokers showed CEV concentrations above the reference values of 10 and 200 pmol/g globin, respectively. The 95th percentile in the non-smokers was 73 pmol/g globin and the maximum was 452 pmol/g globin. ACN exposure among the non-smokers was predicted by (1) the distance to the accident, (2) the duration of exposure, and (3) the occupational function. Emergency responders involved in the on-site management of the train accident were clearly exposed to ACN from the accident. However, the extent of exposure remained relatively moderate with CEV concentrations staying within the ranges described in literature as background for a smoking population. Moreover, the exposure was less pronounced in the emergency responders as compared to that in the local population.

MATERIALS
Product Number
Brand
Product Description

Sigma-Aldrich
Acrylonitrile, ≥99%, contains 35-45 ppm monomethyl ether hydroquinone as inhibitor
Sigma-Aldrich
L-Valine, reagent grade, ≥98% (HPLC)
Sigma-Aldrich
L-Valine, from non-animal source, meets EP, JP, USP testing specifications, suitable for cell culture, 98.5-101.0%
Supelco
Acrylonitrile, analytical standard
Supelco
L-Valine, Pharmaceutical Secondary Standard; Certified Reference Material
Sigma-Aldrich
Acrylonitrile, ≥99%, contains 35-45 ppm monomethyl ether hydroquinone as inhibitor
Sigma-Aldrich
L-Valine, BioUltra, ≥99.5% (NT)
SAFC
L-Valine
Supelco
Acrylonitrile solution, certified reference material, 5000 μg/mL in methanol
Supelco
L-Valine, certified reference material, TraceCERT®
Valine, European Pharmacopoeia (EP) Reference Standard