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Evaluation of urinary methoxyphenols as biomarkers of woodsmoke exposure.

Dills-RL; Paulsen-M; Ahmad-J; Kalman-DA; Elias-FN; Simpson-CD
Environ Sci Technol 2006 Apr; 40(7):2163-2170
Urinary methoxyphenols have been proposed as biomarkers for woodsmoke exposure, but the relationship between exposure and urinary methoxyphenol concentrations has not been characterized. We collected personal particulate matter2.5 and urine samples from 9 adults experimentally exposed to smoke from an open wood fire to characterize this relationship. Personal exposures (PM2.5 mean 1500 microg/ m3) varied 3.5-fold. Twenty-two methoxyphenols, levoglucosan, and 17 polynuclear hydrocarbons were quantified by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry assays for personal filter samples and urine samples. Most methoxyphenols had measurable preexposure levels. Propylguaiacol, syringol, methylsyringol, ethylsyringol, and propylsyringol had peak urinary concentrations after the woodsmoke exposure. Eight subjects had peak urinary elimination of methoxyphenols within 6 h (t1/2 3-5 h), whereas one had delayed elimination. Several metrics for urinary excretion were evaluated. Analyte concentration was greatly affected by diuresis. Excretion rate and analyte concentrations normalized by creatinine gave a clearer signal and were equivalent in predictive ability. Twelve-hour average creatinine-normalized concentrations of each of the 5 methoxyphenols gave a Pearson correlation > or = 0.8 with their particle-phase concentration. The sum of urinary concentrations for the 5 methoxyphenols versus levoglucosan on personal filters gave a regression coefficient of 0.75. This sum versus PM2.5 gave a regression coefficient of 0.79. The intercept of this regression suggests that the threshold for detection of an acute exposure event would be approximately 760 microg/m3 particulate matter from woodsmoke. The signal-to-noise (12-h postexposure average/preexposure average) ranged from 1.1 to 8 for the 5 methoxyphenols. Analysis of multiple compounds provided assurance that elevations were not artifactual due to food or other products.
Biomarkers; Particulates; Urinalysis; Particulate-sampling-methods; Smoke-inhalation; Exposure-levels; Exposure-assessment; Gas-chromatography; Mass-spectrometry; Sampling; Sampling-methods; Wood
Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences, School of Public Health and Community Medicine, University of Washington, Box 357234, Seattle, Washington 98195-7234, USA
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Environmental Science and Technology
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Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences, University of Washington
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division