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Breath, urine, and blood measurements as biological exposure indices of short-term inhalation exposure to methanol.
Batterman-SA; Franzblau-A; D'Arcy-JB; Sargent-NE; Gross-KB; Schreck-RM
Int Arch Occup Environ Health 1998 Jul; 71(5):325-335
Due to their transient nature, short-term exposures can be difficult to detect and quantify using conventional monitoring techniques. Biological monitoring may be capable of registering such exposures and may also be used to estimate important toxicological parameters. This paper investigates relationships between methanol concentrations in the blood, urine, and breath of volunteers exposed to methanol vapor at 800 ppm for periods of 0.5, 1, 2, and 8 h. The results indicate factors that must be considered for interpretation of the results of biological monitoring. For methanol, concentrations are not proportional to the exposure duration due to metabolic and other elimination processes that occur concurrently with the exposure. First-order clearance models can be used with blood, breath, or urine concentrations to estimate exposures if the time that has elapsed since the exposure and the model parameters are known. The 0.5 to 2-h periods of exposure were used to estimate the half-life of methanol. Blood data gave a half-life of 1.44+/-0.33 h. Comparable but slightly more variable results were obtained using urine data corrected for voiding time (1.55+/-0.67h) and breath data corrected for mucous membrane desorption (1.40+/-0.38 h). Methanol concentrations in blood lagged some 15-30 min behind the termination of exposure, and concentrations in urine were further delayed. Although breath sampling may be convenient, breath concentrations reflect end-expired or alveolar air only if subjects are in a methanol-free environment for 30 min or more after the exposure. At earlier times, breath concentrations included contributions from airway desorption or diffusion processes. As based on multicompartmental models, the desorption processes have half-lives ranging between 0.6 and 5 min. Preliminary estimates of the mucous membrane reservoir indicate contributions of under 10% for a 0.5-h exposure and smaller effects for longer periods of exposure.
Biological-effects; Inhalation-studies; Biological-monitoring; Sampling; Sampling-methods; Exposure-assessment; Industrial-hygiene; Solvents; Exposure-levels; Occupational-exposure
Environmental and Industrial Health The University of Michigan 109 Observatory Drive Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2029, USA
Issue of Publication
International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health
University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, Ann Arbor, Michigan
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division