International archives of occupational and environmental health

Levels of 1-hydroxypyrene in urine of people living in an oil producing region of the Andean Amazon (Ecuador and Peru).

PMID 28939924


Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are contaminants with carcinogenic effects but little is known about their presence in environments surrounding oil drilling operations and spills or exposure levels in nearby communities. The objective of this study was to characterize PAH levels in people living near oil drilling operations in relation to fish consumption, occupation, source of water and other socio-demographic characteristics. This pilot study examined PAH exposure by measuring 1-hydroxypyrene (1-OHP) in urine samples using high-performance liquid chromatography and fluorescence detection from 75 women and men in the Ecuadorian and Peruvian Amazon living near oil drilling operations and who answered a questionnaire collecting socio-demographic, occupational and dietary information. Data were analyzed using multiple linear regression models. The mean value of 1-OHP was 0.40 μmol/mol creatinine, 95% CI 0.32-0.46 μmol/mol creatinine. Women who used water from a surface source (for washing clothes or bathing) had almost twice the amount of 1-OHP in their urine (mean 1-OHP = 0.41 μmol/mol creatinine, 95% CI 0.28-0.54 μmol/mol creatinine, n = 23) as women who used water from either a well, a spring or rain (mean 1-OHP = 0.22 μmol/mol creatinine, 95% CI 0.11-0.34 μmol/mol creatinine, n = 6). Men who reported eating a bottom-dwelling species as their most commonly consumed fish (mean 1-OHP = 0.50 μmol/mol creatinine, 95% CI 0.36-0.64 μmol/mol creatinine, n = 31) had twice as much 1-OHP in their urine as men who reported a pelagic fish (mean 1-OHP = 0.25 μmol/mol creatinine, 95% CI 0.15-0.35 μmol/mol creatinine, n = 15), signaling either oral (fish consumption) or dermal (while standing in water fishing benthic species) exposure. More contact with surface water and benthic fish may result in higher levels of 1-OHP in human urine among the study population. Reducing the amount of oil and wastes entering the waterways in Andean Amazonia would be one way to reduce exposure.

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1-Hydroxypyrene, 98%