Children’s Exposure to Volatile Organic Compounds as Determined by Longitudinal Measurements in Blood

University of Texas School of Public Health, Brownsville Regional Campus, Brownsville, Texas, USA.
Environmental Health Perspectives (Impact Factor: 7.03). 04/2005; 113(3):342-9. DOI: 10.1289/ehp.7412
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Blood concentrations of 11 volatile organic compounds (VOCs) were measured up to four times over 2 years in a probability sample of more than 150 children from two poor, minority neighborhoods in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Blood levels of benzene, carbon tetrachloride, trichloroethene, and m-/p-xylene were comparable with those measured in selected adults from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III), whereas concentrations of ethylbenzene, tetrachloroethylene, toluene, 1,1,1-trichloroethane, and o-xylene were two or more times lower in the children. Blood levels of styrene were more than twice as high, and for about 10% of the children 1,4-dichlorobenzene levels were greater than or equal to 10 times higher compared with NHANES III subjects. We observed strong statistical associations between numerous pairwise combinations of individual VOCs in blood (e.g., benzene and m-/p-xylene, m-/p-xylene and o-xylene, 1,1,1-trichloroethane and m-/p-xylene, and 1,1,1-trichloroethane and trichloroethene). Between-child variability was higher than within-child variability for 1,4-dichlorobenzene and tetrachloroethylene. Between- and within-child variability were approximately the same for ethylbenzene and 1,1,1-trichloroethane, and between-child was lower than within-child variability for the other seven compounds. Two-day, integrated personal air measurements explained almost 79% of the variance in blood levels for 1,4-dichlorobenzene and approximately 20% for tetrachloroethylene, toluene, m-/p-xylene, and o-xylene. Personal air measurements explained much less of the variance (between 0.5 and 8%) for trichloroethene, styrene, benzene, and ethylbenzene. We observed no significant statistical associations between total urinary cotinine (a biomarker for exposure to environmental tobacco smoke) and blood VOC concentrations. For siblings living in the same household, we found strong statistical associations between measured blood VOC concentrations.

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: While the environmental exposure to multiple volatile organic compounds (VOCs) is ubiquitous, its neurobehavioral effects are not well understood. We assessed the associations between short-term exposure to VOC mixtures and neurobehavioral test performances on 497 participants in the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, using quantile and ordinary least squares regression models. We grouped 10 blood VOCs into 3 mixtures based on the principal component analysis, where Mix1 included benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, m-/p-xylene, o-xylene, and styrene; Mix2 included chloroform and tetrachloroethene; and Mix3 included 1,1,1-trichloroethane and 1,4-dichlorobenzene. We found a general lack of significant adverse effects with exceptions limited to those with the worst performance (i.e. the top 10 percent) in the simple reaction time test, suggesting that these people were potentially more susceptible to impacts of VOC mixtures. However, further research is needed to clarify the neurobehavioral effects of chronic low-level exposure to VOC mixtures among the general population.
    International Journal of Environmental Health Research 08/2014; DOI:10.1080/09603123.2014.945514 · 1.51 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Cumulative risk assessments (CRAs) include the examination of risks posed by multiple stressors and include population-specific vulnerabilities and susceptibilities. In this case study, we assess potential hearing impairment hazard due to joint exposure from noise and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in order to examine the strengths and limitations of using secondary data on exposure and health effects for a CRA. Block group-level noise categories were estimated using modeled street-level data. A quantile regression model of sociodemographic and personal predictors from the 1999–2000 U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey VOC dataset was used along with block group-level sociodemographic and personal variables to estimate VOC exposures. Hazard indices (HIs) for potential hearing impairment due to joint noise and VOC exposures were calculated. County-averaged HIs for hearing impairment ranged from 0.8 (10th total VOCs percentile and 45–60 dB) to 1.7 (90th total VOCs percentile and 71–75 dB). Limitations of the exposure and health effects data included issues combining heterogeneous data and a lack of established threshold levels for combined low-level exposures; yet, this case study illustrates that screening-level CRAs, including non-chemical stressors, can be accomplished with publicly available data and existing methods.
    Human and Ecological Risk Assessment 05/2014; 20(3). DOI:10.1080/10807039.2013.764771 · 1.08 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry conducted a study to evaluate body burden levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) among residents of highly industrialized Calcasieu Parish, LA, USA, in 2002. Blood VOC levels in a representative sample of participants in Calcasieu Parish were compared with a similar group of participants in the less-industrialized Lafayette Parish. Participants' ages ranged from 15 to 91 years, 46% were men, and 89% were Caucasian. VOC levels in these two populations were also compared at the national levels. Solid-phase microextraction coupled with gas chromatography mass spectrometry was used to measure levels of 30 VOCs in blood samples collected from 283 self-described non-smoking study participants. Of the 30 VOCs, 6 had quantifiable levels in at least 25% of the blood samples analyzed. The frequency of detection was >95% for benzene and m-/p-xylene, >60% for 1,4-dichlorbenzene and toluene, 27% for ethylbenzene, and 39% for styrene. Calcasieu and Lafayette Parish participants had similar distributions for six VOCs in key percentiles and geometric means. When compared with a representative sampling of the 1999-2000 US general population, no significant differences were found between the parish data and the US general population.Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology advance online publication, 29 January 2014; doi:10.1038/jes.2013.94.
    Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology 01/2014; 24(6). DOI:10.1038/jes.2013.94 · 3.05 Impact Factor


Available from