Methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE) is an oxygenated compound added to Italian fuel in quantity of about 3% v/v. In the present study the excretion of urinary MTBE (U-MTBE) was evaluated as biomarker of exposure to traffic exhaust fumes. With this aim 127 Milan urban policemen, working as traffic wardens, were investigated. Spot urine samples were obtained prior to and at the end of the work shift, in different seasons. Median U-MTBE varied from 74 to 164 ng/L (range 60-657 ng/L). Comparing the pre-shift and end-shift samples an increase of about 14% in the U-MTBE level during the workshift was observed. An influence of the different seasons was observed, with lower values in spring and higher values in winter. Smoking did not affect the excretion of U-MTBE. The results of this study suggest that U-MTBE is a sensitive and specific marker for the assessment of exposure to traffic exhaust fumes.
|Number of pages||3|
|Journal||Giornale Italiano di Medicina del Lavoro ed Ergonomia|
|Publication status||Published - Jul 2005|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health