What Additional Factors Beyond State-of-the-Art Analytical Methods Are Needed for Optimal Generation and Interpretation of Biomonitoring Data?

Division of Laboratory Sciences, National Center for Environmental Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia, USA.
Environmental Health Perspectives (Impact Factor: 7.98). 10/2009; 117(10):1481-5. DOI: 10.1289/ehp.0901108
Source: PubMed


The routine use of biomonitoring (i.e., measurement of environmental chemicals, their metabolites, or specific reaction products in human biological specimens) to assess internal exposure (i.e., body burden) has gained importance in exposure assessment.
Selection and validation of biomarkers of exposure are critical factors in interpreting biomonitoring data. Moreover, the strong relation between quality of the analytical methods used for biomonitoring and quality of the resulting data is well understood. However, the relevance of collecting, storing, processing, and transporting the samples to the laboratory to the overall biomonitoring process has received limited attention, especially for organic chemicals.
We present examples to illustrate potential sources of unintended contamination of the biological specimen during collection or processing procedures. The examples also highlight the importance of ensuring that the biological specimen analyzed both represents the sample collected for biomonitoring purposes and reflects the exposure of interest.
Besides using high-quality analytical methods and good laboratory practices for biomonitoring, evaluation of the collection and handling of biological samples should be emphasized, because these procedures can affect the samples integrity and representativeness. Biomonitoring programs would be strengthened with the inclusion of field blanks.

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    • "During pooling, individual urine specimens were thawed, homogenised and aliquoted, after which the pooled sample was well-mixed, divided into smaller aliquots and frozen until analysis. A synthetic urine sample was included as a procedural blank (Calafat and Needham, 2009). No measures of creatinine or specific gravity were available for individual samples. "
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    ABSTRACT: Parabens, benzophenone-3 and triclosan are common ingredients used as preservatives, ultraviolet radiation filters and antimicrobial agents, respectively. Human exposure occurs through consumption of processed food and use of cosmetics and consumer products. The aim of this study was to provide a preliminary characterisation of exposure to selected personal care product chemicals in the general Australian population. De-identified urine specimens stratified by age and sex were obtained from a community-based pathology laboratory and pooled (n=24 pools of 100). Concentrations of free and total (sum of free plus conjugated) species of methyl, ethyl, propyl and butyl paraben, benzophenone-3 and triclosan were quantified using isotope dilution tandem mass spectrometry; with geometric means 232, 33.5, 60.6, 4.32, 61.5 and 87.7ng/mL, respectively. Age was inversely associated with paraben concentration, and females had concentrations approximately two times higher than males. Total paraben and benzophenone-3 concentrations are significantly higher than reported worldwide, and the average triclosan concentration was more than one order of magnitude higher than in many other populations. This study provides the first data on exposure of the general Australian population to a range of common personal care product chemical ingredients, which appears to be prevalent and warrants further investigation.
    Environment International 09/2015; 85:77-83. DOI:10.1016/j.envint.2015.09.001 · 5.56 Impact Factor
    • "A key finding of our study is that we unveiled striking differences in phthalate metabolite distribution (different shares of oxidized metabolites compared to monoester metabolites) between the newborns and their mothers and the rest of the general population . It is generally known that the LMWP (metabolites of DnBP or DiBP) are rather excreted as their non-oxidized, simple monoesters, while the HMWP DEHP, DiNP and DiDP are predominantly excreted as oxidized metabolites in various oxidation forms (OH, oxo or carboxy; Koch and Calafat, 2009). We could confirm this general pattern also in all our subpopulations investigated (newborns and mothers; Table 3). "
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    ABSTRACT: Some phthalates are endocrine disruptors and reproductive and developmental toxicants. Data on newborn phthalate exposure and elimination characteristics are scarce. We determined 21 urinary phthalate metabolites (indicating exposure to 11 parent phthalates) in two study approaches: in the first approach we collected the urine of 20 healthy newborns at days 2–5 post partum together with 47 urine samples of 7 women during pregnancy. In the second fine tuned approach we collected first urine samples of 9 healthy newborns together with their mother's urine shortly before birth. To ensure full and contamination free collection of the newborns first urines we used special adhesive urine bags for children. All urine samples revealed ubiquitous exposures to phthalates comparable to other populations. Metabolite levels in the newborns first day urine samples were generally lower than in all other samples. However, the newborns urines (both first and day 2–5 urines) showed a metabolite pattern distinctly different from the maternal and general population samples: in the newborns urines the carboxy-metabolites of the long chain phthalates (DEHP, DiNP, DiDP) were the by far dominant metabolites with a relative share in the metabolite spectrum up to 6 times higher than in maternal urine. Oppositely, for the short chain phthalates (DBP, DiBP) oxidized metabolites seemed to be less favored than the simple monoesters in the newborns urines. The skewed metabolite distribution in the newborns urine warrants further investigation in terms of early phthalate metabolism, the quantity of internal phthalate exposure of the fetus/newborn and its possible health effects.
    International Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health 11/2013; 216(6):735-742. DOI:10.1016/j.ijheh.2013.01.006 · 3.83 Impact Factor
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    • "ly introduced into biological media during collection and analysis , contributing to spurious concentrations . In this regard , matrix blanks and special care to awareness of composition of laboratory plastics , machine filters , tubing , and dust levels are very important in controlling for background contamination and interpretation of results ( Calafat et al . , 2009 ; Ye et al . , 2013 ) ."
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    ABSTRACT: Women in the United States have breast milk concentrations of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) that are among the highest in the world, leading to concerns over the potential health implications to breastfeeding infants during critical stages of growth and development. Developing cost effective and sustainable methods for assessing chemical exposures in infants is a high priority to federal agencies and local communities. PBDE data are available in nationally representative serum samples but not in breast milk. As a method to predict PBDE concentrations in U.S. breast milk, we present the development of congener-specific linear regression partitioning models and their application to U.S. serum data. Models were developed from existing paired milk and serum data and applied to 2003-04 NHANES serum data for U.S. women. Highest estimated median U.S. breast milk concentrations were for BDE-47 (30.6 ng/g lipid) and BDE-99 (6.1 ng/g lipid) with the median concentration of Σ7PBDEs estimated at 54.2 ng/g lipid. Predictions of breast milk PBDE concentration were consistent with reported concentrations from 11 similarly timed U.S. studies. When applied to NHANES data, these models provide a sustainable method for estimating population-level concentrations of PBDEs in U.S. breast milk and should improve exposure estimates in breastfeeding infants.
    Environmental Science & Technology 04/2013; 47(9). DOI:10.1021/es305229d · 5.33 Impact Factor
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