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Using urinary biomarkers of polycyclic aromatic compound exposure to guide exposure-reduction strategies among asphalt paving workers.

McClean MD; Osborn LV; Snawder JE; Olsen LD; Kriech AJ; Sjodin A; Li Z; Smith JP; Sammons DL; Herrick RF; Cavallari JM
Ann Occup Hyg 2012 Nov; 56(9):1013-1024
Introduction: Paving workers are exposed to polycyclic aromatic compounds (PACs) while working with hot-mix asphalt (HMA). Further characterization of the source and route of these exposures is necessary to guide exposure-reduction strategies. Methods: Personal air (n = 144), hand-wash (n = 144), and urine (n = 480) samples were collected from 12 paving workers over 3 workdays during 4 workweeks. Urine samples were collected at preshift, postshift, and bedtime and analyzed for 10 hydroxylated PACs (1-OH-pyrene; 1-, 2-, 3-, 4-OH-phenanthrene; 1-, 2-OH-naphthalene; 2-, 3-, 9-OH-fluorene) by an immunochemical quantification of PACs (I-PACs). The air and hand-wash samples were analyzed for the parent compounds corresponding to the urinary analytes. Using a crossover study design, each of the 4 weeks represented a different exposure scenario: a baseline week (normal conditions), a dermal protection week (protective clothing), a powered air-purifying respirator (PAPR) week, and a biodiesel substitution week (100% biodiesel provided to replace the diesel oil normally used by workers to clean tools and equipment). The urinary analytes were analyzed using linear mixed-effects models. Results: Postshift and bedtime concentrations were significantly higher than preshift concentrations for most urinary biomarkers. Compared with baseline, urinary analytes were reduced during the dermal protection (29% for 1-OH-pyrene, 15% for I-PACs), the PAPR (24% for 1-OH-pyrene, 15% for I-PACs), and the biodiesel substitution (15% for 1-OH-pyrene) weeks. The effect of PACs in air was different by exposure scenario (biodiesel substitution > dermal protection > PAPR and baseline) and was still a significant predictor of most urinary analytes during the week of PAPR use, suggesting that PACs in air were dermally absorbed. The application temperature of HMA was positively associated with urinary measures, such that an increase from the lowest application temperature (121 degreesC) to the highest (154 degrees C) was associated with a 72% increase in XXOH-fluorene and 1-OH-pyrene and an 82% increase in XXOH-phenanthrene. Though PACs in hand-wash samples were not predictors of urinary analytes, the effects observed during the PAPR scenario and the week of increased dermal protection provide evidence of dermal absorption.
Workers; Work-environment; Polycyclic-aromatic-hydrocarbons; Asphalt-industry; Asphalt-fumes; Exposure-levels; Environmental-hazards; Environmental-exposure; Urinalysis; Pyrines; Phenanthrenes; Naphthalenes; Fluorenes; Air-samples; Analytical-processes; Skin-absorption; Protective-clothing; Respiratory-equipment; Respirators; Biomarkers; Author Keywords: asphalt; biodiesel; biomarkers; dermal; polycyclic aromatic compounds
Michael D. Mcclean, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 4676 Columbia Pkwy C-26, Cincinnati, OH 45226
86-73-7; 129-00-0; 85-01-8; 91-20-3
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Journal Article
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NIOSH Division
Priority Area
Construction; Transportation, Warehousing and Utilities
Source Name
Annals of Occupational Hygiene
Page last reviewed: March 25, 2022
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division