NORA Manufacturing Sector Strategic Goals
927ZJNB - Biomonitoring in blood and urine for worker exposures
Principal Investigator (PI)
Primary Goal Addressed
Secondary Goal Addressed
Attributed to Manufacturing
NIOSH is involved in conducting research for developing biomonitoring methods for worker exposure. There are 9 exposure assessment methods of high interest which are near completion and require statistical analyses, back up data reports, and validation by independent laboratories. Validated exposure assessment methods are critical for providing worker exposure data.
This project addresses the goals of the NIOSH Cancer, Reproductive and Cardiovascular Diseases Cross-Sector Program. It also addresses the goals of the Communications and Information Dissemination Cross-Sector Program.
The major outputs from this project will be 9 validated methods for measuring biomarkers in urine. These methods will be User Checked, peer reviewed and published in the NIOSH Manual of Analytical Methods. Intermediate outcomes include use of these methods by the U.S. Air Force to modify the standard operating procedures used by Air Force personnel and reduce the risks associated with airplane fueling, maintenance and repair operations.
NIOSH is involved in conducting research for developing biomonitoring methods for worker exposure. The specific aims of this project are: 1) complete the research pending for 9 biomonitoring methods in collaboration with established partners (e.g.: U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio), 2) validate these methods, 3) complete the NIOSH document approval process and required peer reviews, 4) publish the validated methods in the NIOSH Manual of Analytical Methods (NMAM), and 5) co-author peer-reviewed technical journal articles.
A specific subset of these 9 biomonitoring methods targets toluene and metabolites of toluene, related to fuel components. Lowto-moderate, day-after-day exposure in the workplace can cause tiredness, confusion, weakness, drunken-type actions, memory loss, nausea and loss of appetite. Exposure to toluene has been linked to adverse reproductive effects in animal studies.
Completion, validation and publication of a biomonitoring method specific to toluene will enhance the relevance of CRC research for workers exposed in a variety of workplace processes involving fabrication (fuel cells), general solvent use, paints, thinners, adhesives, cleaning agents, pesticides and explosives. Additional metabolites of toluene are acetone, methyl ethyl ketone (MEK) and 2,5-hexanedione. Biomonitoring of these metabolites are used to determine the contribution of dermal exposures to toluene.
A second subset of the proposed biomonitoring methods targets metabolites of JP-8 jet fuel. JP-8 jet fuel is the standard military fuel for all types of vehicles, generators, heating and cooking operations; and constitutes the most common chemical exposure in the Air Force (pre-flight and maintenance operations). JP-8 is less volatile than most fuels, yielding prolonged exposure via contaminated surfaces. Based on limited toxicologic data, it is speculated that workers exposed to JP-8 are at increased risk of respiratory, cardiovascular and neurologic effects.
The final subset of the proposed biomonitoring methods include methods research for butyltin chlorides in urine and trichoroacetic acid in urine. Butyltin chlorides in urine are used to measure exposure to butyl tin oxides (organotin compounds), which are used extensively as antifouling coatings on ships, coatings in the glass industry and also used as stabilizers in plastics, catalysts and biocides. Exposure to organotins is associated with respiratory and cardiac symptoms. Trichloroacetic acid in urine is one of several metabolites found due to exposure to trichloroethylene either from inhalation or trichloroethylene vapor or ingestion of trichloroethylene contaminated water. Trichloroethylene is a solvent which is used as a degreaser for metal parts, in dry cleaning, as a paint and lacquer thinner, an extraction solvent and as an intermediate in the production of hydrofluorocarbon refrigerants. Trichloro-acetic acid has been classified as a possible human carcinogen.
Goals for FY10-FY11 include completing research, drafting Topic Concept Memos required for each NMAM draft method and contracting with independent laboratories to perform method validation. Goals for FY11-FY12 include completing all method validations, completing NIOSH statistical analyses, completing all validation reports, performing required outside peer reviews of all draft methods and formatting for publication in the NIOSH Manual of Analytical Methods.
In the U.S. Air Force, exposure to jet fuel is the most common chemical exposure. JP-8 jet fuel is the standard military fuel for all types of vehicles, generators, heating and cooking operations; and constitutes the most common chemical exposure in the Air Force (pre-flight and maintenance operations). JP-8 is less volatile than most fuels, yielding prolonged exposure via contaminated surfaces. Based on limited toxicologic data, it is speculated that workers exposed to JP-8 are at increased risk of respiratory, cardiovascular and neurologic effects. The base mixture of hydrocarbons in JP-8 is kerosene, which has caused skin cancer in mice, which may indicate a concern for exposure via the dermal route. The availability of validated methods for exposure assessments to the components of jet fuel would enable the U.S. Air Force to modify the standard operating procedures used by Air Force personnel and reduce the risks associated with airplane fueling, maintenance and repair operations.
Exposure assessment data is currently used and will continue to be used to measure worker exposure to jet fuels. In particular, biomarkers in urine have proven to be useful sentinels of worker exposure.
Draft methods have been developed to measure biomarkers in urine for worker exposure to jet fuels. These exposure assessment methods will be validated via User Checks at independent laboratories, with subsequent review and publication in the NIOSH Manual of Analytical Methods. Dr. David Mattie of the U.S. Air Force research center at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base will provide expert reviews for these methods.