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The relationship between environmental monitoring and biological markers in exposure assessment.
Rappaport SM; Symanski E; Yager JW; Kupper LL
Environ Health Perspect 1995 Apr; 103(Suppl 3):49-54
The general utility of biomarkers was discussed. Exposure/biomarker relationships were described and data from an earlier study of a cohort of workers exposed to styrene (100425) in a boat manufacturing company were used to provide examples. Monitoring in the study was performed over 1 year on seven occasions where the same subjects were repeatedly monitored at intervals of about 7 weeks. The shift long personal exposure was monitored for each subject, and samples of mixed exhaled air were collected randomly from each subject up to four times. Blood samples were collected and lymphocytes were analyzed for sister chromatid exchanges (SCEs). Significant linear correlations were detected between styrene exposure and the level of SCEs. The attenuation of exposure/response relationships was explained by mathematical expressions. The authors conclude that exhaled air represents a valid biomarker of exposure to styrene in this population and that linear kinetics prevailed regarding the uptake and elimination of styrene. The authors note that while biomarkers have certain theoretical advantages over environmental measurements for epidemiologic studies, very few relevant applications have been published, one reason being the difficulty of collecting and assaying biological specimens from large numbers of exposed persons. Another reason may be the inability to interpret results of biomarkers in the context of exposure response relationships. However, in such cases, it may not offer any significant advantage over the use of environmental measurements. The styrene study indicated that interindividual differences in exposure and exhaled air concentrations of styrene were much larger than those operating within workers from day to day.
NIOSH-Publication; NIOSH-Grant; Grants-other; Organic-solvents; Solvent-vapors; Urinalysis; Air-quality-monitoring; Biological-monitoring; Risk-analysis; Risk-factors; Epidemiology
Biomedical & Environ Hlth Scis University of California School of Public Health Berkeley, CA 94720
Other Occupational Concerns; Grants-other
Environmental Health Perspectives
University of California Berkeley, Berkeley, California
Page last reviewed: October 5, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division