Urinary BTEX, MTBE and naphthalene as biomarkers to gain environmental exposure profiles of the general population

Silvia Fustinoni, Federica Rossella, Laura Campo, Rosa Mercadante, Pier Alberto Bertazzi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The aim of this work was to evaluate urinary benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, m+p-xylene, o-xylene (BTEX), methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE), ethyl tert-butyl ether (ETBE), and naphthalene (NAP) as biomarkers of exposure to environmental pollutants. Personal air and urine samples from 108 subjects belonging to the Italian general population were compared. Urinary profiles were obtained by headspace gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. BTEX, MTBE, ETBE and NAP median airborne exposures during a 5-h sampling were 4.0, 25.3, 3.8, 9.3, 3.4, 3.4, 3, respectively. Meanwhile, median urinary levels, as geometric means of three determinations were: 122, 397, 74, 127, 43, 49, 2 0.733 for benzene. Urinary chemicals are useful biomarkers of environmental exposure. Given the ease of rapidly obtaining urine samples, they represent a non-invasive alternative to blood chemical analysis. The possibility of obtaining urinary exposure profiles makes this method an appealing tool for environmental epidemiology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2840-2849
Number of pages10
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Volume408
Issue number14
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2010

Keywords

  • Benzene
  • Biomarkers
  • BTEX
  • Environmental exposure
  • General population
  • MTBE
  • Naphthalene
  • Urine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Pollution
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Environmental Engineering

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