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Sensitive early indicators of hepatic and kidney damage in workers exposed to jet fuel (JP-8).

Snawder JE; Butler MA; Clark JC; Knecht EA; Krieg EF
Toxicologist 2002 Mar; 66(1-S):284
Jet Propellant type 8 (JP-8)is used for all US military operations. Because of the widespread exposure and concern for potential health effects, three hundred twenty-four US Air Force (USAF) active duty personnel participated in a study at six USAF bases between April and September, 2000. Animal & human studies suggest that exposure to fuels and solvents can adversely effect the liver and kidney. Glutathione transferase (GST) isoenzymes possess specific patterns of distribution in organs and are released to biological fluids in response to toxic insult. ELISA techniques can be used to measure those GSTs associated with liver and kidney damage. Pre- and post-shift serum and urine samples were collected from USAF personnel and commercial GST assays were used to measure alpha GST in serum (marker for liver damage) and alpha and pi GST in urine which are associated with proximal and distal tubule damage, respectively. Exposed workers were tank-entry personnel with at least nine months of persistent exposure to jet fuel; the unexposed group were USAF personnel with no significant exposure to fuels or solvents. Levels of serum hepatic alpha-GST, and urinary nephritic alpha- and pi-GST in the study subjects fell within the normal range for healthy subjects. No differences were observed indicative of liver or kidney damage attributable to any of the exposure, lifestyle and other demographic variables examined. Creatinine, used to normalize urinary GSTs was elevated in post-shift samples from the highest exposure category. This study group represents a very healthy segment of the population. Sensitive measures for liver and kidney damage did not detect any adverse effects in this study group. Evidence of elevated creatinine in the mean post-shift samples of the high exposure category was seen. However, while these values are within normal clinical ranges, they are consistent with concentrated urine indicative of mild dehydration.
Animal-studies; Exposure-levels; Animals; Laboratory-animals; Exhaust-gases; Combustion-gases; Combustion-products; Particulates; Jet-engine-fuels; Jet-exhausts; Military-personnel
Publication Date
Document Type
Fiscal Year
NIOSH Division
Priority Area
Research Tools and Approaches: Exposure Assessment Methods
Source Name
The Toxicologist. Society of Toxicology 41st Annual Meeting and ToxExpo, March 17-21, 2002, Nashville, Tennessee
Page last reviewed: May 11, 2023
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division