The urinary excretion of t,t-muconic acid (t,t-MA), S-phenylmercapturic acid (SPMA) and urinary benzene and the influence of a smoking habit and of exposure to urban traffic on the urinary excretion of these biomarkers were investigated in 137 male adults from the general population. All subjects were not occupationally exposed to benzene and resident in two cities in Puglia (Southern-Italy). Environmental exposure to benzene was measured using passive personal samplers. The biomarkers t,t-MA, SPMA and urinary benzene were determined in urine samples collected from each subject at the end of the environmental sampling. The percentage of cases above the limit of detection was higher for SPMA and urinary benzene in smokers than in non-smokers, and for airborne benzene and urinary benzene in subjects exposed to urban traffic. Airborne benzene was correlated with the time spent in urban traffic during the environmental sampling. Among the biomarkers, urinary benzene was found to be correlated with airborne benzene only in non-smokers, and with the time spent in urban traffic, both in smokers and non-smokers considered together, and in non-smokers only. Finally, multiple regression analysis showed that the urinary excretion of all the biomarkers was dependent on the number of cigarettes smoked per day and, for urinary benzene, also on the time spent in urban traffic. In conclusion, urinary benzene seems to be a more valid biomarker than t,t-MA and SPMA to assess environmental exposure to extremely low concentrations of benzene. Cigarette smoking prevailed over traffic exhaust fumes in determining the internal dose of benzene.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health