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Vesper HW, Caudill SP, Osterloh JD, Meyers T, Scott D, Myers GL. Exposure of the U.S. Population to Acrylamide in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2003–2004. Environ Health Perspect. 2010 Feb;118(2):278-83.


Background: The lifelong exposure of the population to acrylamide has raised concerns about the chemical's possible health effects. Data on the extent of exposure to acrylamide and its primary metabolite glycidamide are needed to aid in the assessment of potential health effects.

Objectives: The aim of this study was to assess human exposure to acrylamide and glycidamide in the general U.S. population through the measurement of hemoglobin adducts of acrylamide (HbAA) and glycidamide (HbGA).

Methods: HbAA and HbGA were measured in 7,166 subjects from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Stratified HbAA and HbGA data were reported by sex, age groups, race/ethnicity (Mexican Americans [MA], non-Hispanic blacks [NHB], non-Hispanic whites [NHW]), and smoking status based on serum cotinine levels. Covariate-adjusted geometric means for each demographic group were calculated using multiple regression analysis.

Results: HbAA and HbGA levels (pmol/g Hb) ranged from 3-910 and 4-756, respectively, with smokers having the highest levels overall. Tobacco smoke exposure in nonsmokers had a small but significant effect on HbAA and HbGA levels. Adjusted geometric mean levels for children age 3-11 years were higher than for adults age 60+ years (means [95%CI]: HbAA 54.5 [49.1-51.5], HbGA 73.9 [71.3-76.6] versus 46.2 [44.3-48.2], HbGA: 41.8 [38.7-45.2]). Levels were highest in MA (HbAA: 54.8 [51.9-57.8], HbGA: 57.9 [53.7-62.5]), while NHB had the lowest HbGA levels (43.5 [41.1-45.9]).

Conclusions: U.S. population levels of acrylamide and glycidamide adducts are described. The high variability among individuals but modest differences between population subgroups suggests that gender, age and race/ethnicity do not strongly affect acrylamide exposure. Adduct concentration data can be used to estimate relative exposure and to validate intake estimates.

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The Full Text of this publication is available from: Environmental Health Perspectives (EHP)

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