Toluene and styrene in urine as biological exposure indices

M. Imbriani, S. Ghittori, G. Pezzagno, E. Capodaglio

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The concentration of toluene and styrene in urine was determined in 121 subjects occupationally exposed to toluene (median value: 75 mg/m3) and in 69 subjects exposed to styrene (109 mg/m3) in a chemical factory. The analyses were performed by the head space method, using a Hewlett-Packard 5880-A Gas Chromatograph with a Hewlett-Packard 5970-A Mass Selective Detector. A significant correlation was found between the toluene and styrene environmental concentrations (Ci, mg/m3) and the toluene and styrene urine concentration (Cu, µg/L) (toluene: CG = 0.598 x Ci - 1.01, r = 0.87; styrene: Ca = 0.32 x CT + 16.1, r = 0.89). The authors suggest a Biological Exposure Index (BEI) of 195 µg/L for toluene (in end-of-shift urine) corresponding to the TL.V of 375 mg/m3 (100 ppm) for toluene in air, and a BEI of 75 µg/L for styrene (in end-of-shift urine) corresponding to the TLV of 215 mg/m3 (50 ppm) for styrene in air. These values could be considered complimentarytothe ACGIH BEIfortoluene: hippuricacid in urine (end of shift or last 4 hours of shift), toluene in venous blood (end of shift), and/or toluene in end-exhaled air (during shift), and the BEI for styrene: mandelic acid in urine (end of shift), styrene in mixed-exhaled air (during shift or end of shift), phenylglyoxylic acid in urine (end of shift), and/or styrene in blood (end of shift or prior to shift).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)172-176
Number of pages5
JournalApplied Industrial Hygiene
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1986

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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