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J Occup Health year 2007 volume 49 number 2 page 104 - 110
Classification Original
Title Unmetabolized VOCs in Urine as Biomarkers of Low Level Exposure in Indoor Environments
Author Bing-Ling WANG1, Tomoko TAKIGAWA1, Akito TAKEUCHI1, Yukie YAMASAKI1, Hiroyuki KATAOKA2, Da-Hong WANG1 and Keiki OGINO1
Organization 1Department of Public Health, Okayama University Graduate School of Medicine, Dentistry and Pharmaceutical Sciences and 2School of Pharmacy, Shujitsu University, Japan
Keywords Volatile organic compounds (VOCs), Biological monitoring, Indoor environment, Xylene, Toluene, p-dichlorobenzene, Urine
Correspondence T. Takigawa, Department of Public Health, Okayama University Graduate School of Medicine, Dentistry and Pharmaceutical Sciences, 2-5-1 Shikata-cho, Okayama 700-8558, Japan (e-mail: ttomoko@md.okayama-u.ac.jp)
Abstract Unmetabolized VOCs in Urine as Biomarkers of Low Level Exposure in Indoor Environments: Bing-Ling WANG, et al. Department of Public Health, Okayama University Graduate School of Medicine, Dentistry and Pharmaceutical Sciences-This study aimed to test the possible use of unmetabolized volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in urine as biomarkers of low-level indoor environmental exposure. Twenty-four subjects in 13 dwellings in a prefecture of Japan participated in this study. Air samples of the breathing zone were collected in the living room and bedroom, along with spot urine samples (before bedtime and first morning voids). Toluene, ethylbenzene, xylene isomers, styrene and p-dichlorobenzene in the air and urine samples were measured by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry. For the 21 subjects without solvent exposure at work, there were significant correlations between the time-weighted average air concentrations in the bedroom and morning urinary concentrations for toluene, o-xylene, total xylene and p-dichlorobenzene (correlation coefficients of 0.54, 0.61, 0.56 and 0.84, respectively). Multiple linear regression analysis showed only air VOCs in the bedroom influenced the morning urinary VOC concentrations. We concluded that unmetabolized VOCs in the urine can provide a reliable biological indicator for air VOC exposures in non-occupational environments.