American journal of industrial medicine

Biomarkers for polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and serum liver enzymes.

PMID 25940037


Limited evidence suggests that human liver toxicity is associated with exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). The association of urinary PAH metabolites with serum liver enzymes was tested among 288 workers at a petrochemical plant, using a general linear model (GLM) and multiple logistic regression. Urine 2-naphthol levels were positively correlated with serum AST after adjustment for covariates in GLM. Comparing third tertile versus first tertile of 2-naphthol levels, the odds ratios (OR) were elevated for abnormal serum AST levels [OR = 4.1 (95%CI 1.6-10.2)] and abnormal serum ALT levels [OR = 2.4 (95%CI 1.2-4.9)]. Although confounding by alcohol intake was not completely ruled out, our findings demonstrate an association between PAHs exposure and elevation in serum liver enzymes. Urinary 2-naphthol is a biomarker of exposure to PAHs that is associated with liver toxicity.