Occupational and Environmental Chemical Hazards. Cellular and Biochemical Indices for Monitoring Toxicity. Foa V, Emmett EA, Maroni M, Colombi A, eds., New York: Halsted Press, 1987 Jan; :50-60
The methods and results of biological monitoring were discussed. This report was based on a review of nine environmental or occupational health journals in the 1981 to 1985 period. The literature was characterized according to trends by year and journal for effect parameters, substances monitored, study design, biological media sampled, and goals of studies. The articles were included if they contained information on the concentration of an intoxicant or metabolites in biological media, or if they involved the determination of non adverse biological changes that were the result of the reaction of the organism to exposure. Also included were articles that contained information on the detection of potentially adverse biological effects. Of the 3738 articles reviewed, 585 involved biological monitoring. A toxic substance was measured in 41 percent, a metabolite in 11, and an agent specific reversible nonadverse effect in 7 percent of the biological monitoring articles. The most frequently monitored substances were lead, cadmium, toluene, asbestos, mercury, polychlorinated biphenyls, and styrene. Some frequently occurring toxic substances, such as ethanol, silica, aromatic hydrocarbons, trichloroethylene, welding gases, products of combustion, and ethylene glycol accounted for little or none of the research evaluation. Approximately half of the studies involved sampling blood for biological monitoring; urine was monitored in 28.3 percent of the cases. The relationship between the level of environmental exposure and biological level of the intoxicant or metabolite was evaluated in 74 percent of the studies. There has been little research on the relationship between internal dose and adverse effects. The authors recommend that more studies on the relationship between internal dose and disease for established toxins be performed and that new monitoring methods for the less studied toxins be developed.