08.09.2009

Investigation of PAH Biomarkers in the Urine of Workers Exposed to Hot Asphalt

Airborne emissions from hot asphalt contain mixtures of polycyclic aromatic
hydrocarbons (PAHs), including several carcinogens. The 'Annals of Occupational
Hygiene' publish in their August issue an article discussing the PAH Biomarkers
in the Urine of Workers Exposed to Hot Asphalt.

The authors investigated urinary biomarkers of three PAHs, namely naphthalene
(Nap), phenanthrene (Phe), and pyrene (Pyr) in 20 road-paving workers exposed
to hot asphalt and in 6 road milling workers who were not using hot asphalt
(reference group). In baseline samples, no significant differences in biomarker
levels were observed between pavers and millers, suggesting similar background
exposures. In postshift, bedtime, and morning urine samples, the high pairwise
correlations observed between levels of all biomarkers suggest common exposure
sources. Among pavers, levels of all biomarkers were significantly elevated in
postshift samples, indicating rapid uptake and elimination of PAHs following
exposure to hot asphalt (biomarker levels were not elevated among millers).

Results from linear mixed-effects models across pavers showed significant
effects of work assignments with roller operators having lower biomarker levels
than the other workers. However, no work-related effect was observed for levels
of OH-Nap, apparently due to the influence of cigarette smoking.

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AplusA-online.de - Source: Annals of Occupational Hygiene