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workers, building, architect

NORA Manufacturing Sector Strategic Goals

92700A2 - Immunochemical Biomonitoring for Worker Exposure and Disease

Start Date: 10/1/2004
End Date: 9/30/2009

Principal Investigator (PI)
Name: Cynthia Striley
Phone: 513-533-8123
Organization: NIOSH
Sub-Unit: DART
Funded By: NIOSH

Primary Goal Addressed

Secondary Goal Addressed

Attributed to Manufacturing


Project Description

Short Summary

Immunochemical Biomonitoring for Worker Exposure and Disease, a continuing project, is evaluating industrial and agricultural chemicals with known acute and chronic toxicities, which present a significant exposure risk for workers. Biological monitoring can assess exposure by analyzing acute and latent metabolites in various biological media. The goal of this project is to develop low-cost, rapid immunochemical and analytical chemistry biomonitoring methods that will be used to identify exposures and evaluate potential interventions. Concurrent with development of exposure assessment methods, this project will identify and develop new multiplex immunochemical methods to evaluate biomarkers of occupational illness or subclinical signs of occupational illness. Biological monitoring, through the validation and development of new methods, is a powerful tool for reducing risk and creating safer work practices.


This project will provide methods for biological monitoring required by Institute Health Hazard Evaluations (HHE) and other NIOSH field research investigations. To support this work, this project will modify, develop and validate new analytical chemistry and immunochemical methods for field studies that require biological monitoring and apply previously developed methods to field studies. Prior work demonstrated the applicability of immunochemical detection as a rapid, simple method for biological monitoring. Some past accomplishments (FY07) include a field method for the analysis of cotinine in urine has been developed, validated and used on an HHE. A field-portable method for the determination of acetylcholinesterase (AChE) in insecticide applicators was evaluated versus traditional laboratory methods in association with an HHE. Also, an HPLC method to analyze malathion on applicator hand wash samples has been developed and validated. An HPLC method to measure the chlorferon metabolite of the pesticide coumaphos was developed and used to analyze urine from HHE participants. Also in FY07, exhaled breath styrene analyses were performed as part of the styrene and noise study. More styrene sampling and analyses are planned for FY09.

In FY09 the feasibility of developing multiple or multi-analyte lateral flow immunoassay (LFIA) strips for agricultural chemicals will be performed. These LFIA tests will be integrated into DSHEFS Agricultural research study.


• Conduct internet searches using the ISI Web of Science to determine citation counts for our publications.

• Maintain contacts with unions, trade organizations and other stakeholders to determine if/when NIOSH recommendations are adopted.

• Track utilization of study findings by OSHA, FDA, IARC etc. to set new policy recommendations.

• Maintain contacts with industrial hygiene organizations to see if our methods are being adopted as biomonitoring tools by other groups.

Mission Relevance

Biological monitoring results are used (1) for hazard surveillance, to demonstrate the existence of an exposure problem so that it can be corrected, and (2) to demonstrate the adequacy of control technologies and intervention strategies (3) identify those individuals most at risk. The Institute's field investigations of occupational hazards require assessment of exposures. Biological monitoring can accurately assess an individual's exposure, whereas environmental monitoring can not. Exposure of workers to occupational hazards often results in the appearance of the chemical or metabolites in the workers' blood, breath, urine, or other biological medium. This exposure can be demonstrated and quantified by analytical methods appropriate for the chemical or metabolite. Classical analytical techniques that employ chromatographic analysis can be time consuming, labor intensive and expensive. Immunochemically-based methods are significantly less expensive than classical methods, much less time consuming, and usually less labor intensive. Measurement of biomarkers in separate or sequential assays can equate to an imponderable task. However, when these measurements are multiplexed together in a single assay on a single specimen, these measurements can be accomplished in a timely manner. This project will employ these techniques to identify biomarkers of exposure and effects such as illness or sub-clinical changes. This research is conducted under the Institute's research goals and the Branch and Division's goal to conduct research to reduce work-related illnesses and injuries through laboratory and field studies by assessing worker exposures and effects of exposure through analysis of biological specimens and developing and evaluating biomonitoring methods. This work will address needs in the Manufacturing (09PPMNFSG6, 09PPMNFSG7, and 09PPMNFSG9) and Agriculture (09PPAFFSG5) Sectors. In the AFF Sector it specifically addresses Intermediate Goal 5.3 (09PPAFFIG5.3): Reduce acute and chronic illnesses associated with exposure to pesticides and other agrochemicals and Activity/Output Goal 5.3.4 (09PPAFFAOG5.3.4): Conduct research to develop and improve (1) methods to assess exposures to pesticides, agrochemicals, and interactions of multiple chemicals in the workplace, and (2) biomonitoring methods and direct reading devices to assess exposures and evaluate health effects of exposures in workers and their families and Activity/Output Goal 5.3.5 (09PPAFFAOG5.3.5): Conduct research to assess the effects of occupational exposures to pesticides and other agrochemicals on the reproductive, neurological and neurobehavioral health of men, women and children. The study also addresses the Cancer, Reproductive, Cardiovascular Cross Sector, specifically Activity/Output Goal 1.1.3. (09PPCRCAOG1.1.3); Develop and evaluate biomonitoring methods for the determination of carcinogen exposures and health effects in workers and the Exposure Assessment Cross Sector Intermediate Goal 2.4 (09PPEXAIG2.4): Develop biomonitoring methods including biomarkers that are useful for mixed exposures.

Activity/Output 2.4.1 (09PPEXAAOG2.4.1): Development of new biomonitoring methods, Activity/Output 2.4.2 (09PPEXAAOG2.4.2): Laboratory and field validation of biomonitoring methods to document and characterize their performance characteristics, including specificity, sensitivity, accuracy, and other performance measures, and

Activity/Output 2.4.3 (09PPEXAAOG2.4.3): Application of these methods to evaluate occupational exposure.

This project addressed Ag sector goals by developing methods to quantify and reduce injuries, illness, and harmful exposures from working with industrial chemicals and the application of pesticides and in doing so reduce chronic illnesses due to these chemical exposures. In addition, this project will address issues of exposure and injury related to subject, age, race and gender.