Environmental and biological monitoring of exposures to PAHs and ETS in the general population

Division of Environmental Health & Risk Management, School of Geography, Earth & Environmental Sciences, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 2TT, United Kingdom.
Environment international (Impact Factor: 5.56). 10/2010; 36(7):763-71. DOI: 10.1016/j.envint.2010.05.015
Source: PubMed


The objective of this study was to analyse environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) and PAH metabolites in urine samples of non-occupationally exposed non-smoker adult subjects and to establish relationships between airborne exposures and urinary concentrations in order to (a) assess the suitability of the studied metabolites as biomarkers of PAH and ETS, (b) study the use of 3-ethenypyridine as ETS tracer and (c) link ETS scenarios with exposures to carcinogenic PAH and VOC. Urine samples from 100 subjects were collected and concentrations of monophenolic metabolites of naphthalene, fluorene, phenanthrene, and pyrene and the nicotine metabolites cotinine and trans-3'-hydroxycotinine were measured using liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) to assess PAH and ETS exposures. Airborne exposures were measured using personal exposure samplers and analysed using GC-MS. These included 1,3-butadiene (BUT), 3-ethenylpyridine (3-EP) (a tobacco-specific tracer derived from nicotine pyrolysis) and PAHs. ETS was reported by the subjects in 30-min time-activity questionnaires and specific comments were collected in an ETS questionnaire each time ETS exposure occurred. The values of 3-EP (>0.25 microg/m(3) for ETS) were used to confirm the ETS exposure status of the subject. Concentrations as geometric mean, GM, and standard deviation (GSD) of personal exposures were 0.16 (5.50)microg/m(3) for 3-EP, 0.22 (4.28)microg/m(3) for BUT and 0.09 (3.03)ng/m(3) for benzo(a)pyrene. Concentrations of urinary metabolites were 0.44 (1.70)ng/mL for 1-hydroxypyrene and 0.88 (5.28)ng/mL for cotinine. Concentrations of urinary metabolites of nicotine were lower than in most previous studies, suggesting very low exposures in the ETS-exposed group. Nonetheless, concentrations were higher in the ETS population for cotinine, trans-3'hydroxycotinine, 3-EP, BUT and most high molecular weight PAH, whilst 2-hydroxyphenanthrene, 3+4-hydroxyphenanthrene and 1-hydroxyphenanthrene were only higher in the high-ETS subpopulation. There were not many significant correlations between either personal exposures to PAH and their urinary metabolites, or of the latter with ETS markers. However, it was found that the urinary log cotinine concentration showed significant correlation with log concentrations of 3-EP (R=0.75), BUT (R=0.47), and high molecular weight PAHs (MW>200), especially chrysene (R=0.55) at the p=0.01 level. On the other hand, low correlation was observed between the PAH metabolite 2-naphthol and the parent PAH, gas-phase naphthalene. These results suggest that (1) ETS is a significant source of inhalation exposure to the carcinogen 1,3-butadiene and high molecular weight PAHs, many of which are carcinogenic, and (2) that for lower molecular weight PAHs such as naphthalene, exposure by routes other than inhalation predominate, since metabolite levels correlated poorly with personal exposure air sampling.

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Available from: Roy M Harrison, Jan 07, 2014
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    • "PAHs have been identified as one of the major toxic air pollutants in the urban environment (Srogi 2007). While high molecular weight PAHs existing mainly in the particulate phase of the atmosphere are carcinogenic and/or mutagenic (Aquilina et al. 2010b), the low molecular weight PAHs are considered to be less harmful to human health; however, they are much more abundant and can react with other pollutants such as ozone and NOx to form highly toxic nitrated PAH compounds (Delgado-Saborit et al. 2011b; Park et al. 2001). Atmospheric partitioning of PAHs between the particulate and gaseous phases depends on various factors including atmospheric conditions (e.g., ambient temperature, relative humidity), the nature (i.e., origin and properties) of the aerosol, interactions between the compound and the aerosol, and the overall behavior of the compound in the atmosphere (Nassar et al. 2011; Vardar et al. 2008). "
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    ABSTRACT: The concentrations of 15 priority PAHs were determined in the atmospheric gaseous and particulate phases from nine sites across Assiut City, Egypt. While naphthalene, acenaphthene, and fluorene were the most abundant in the gaseous phase with average concentrations of 377, 184, and 181 ng/m(3), benzo[b]fluoranthene, chrysene, and benzo[g,h,i]perylene showed the highest levels in the particulate phase with average concentrations of 76, 6, and 52 ng/m(3). The average total atmospheric concentration of target PAHs (1,590 ng/m(3)) indicates that Assiut is one of the highest PAH-contaminated areas in the world. Statistical analysis revealed a significant difference between the levels of PAHs in the atmosphere of urban and suburban sites (P = 0.029 and 0.043 for gaseous and particulate phases, respectively). Investigation of diagnostic PAH concentration ratios revealed vehicular combustion and traffic exhaust emissions as the major sources of PAHs with a higher contribution of gasoline rather than diesel vehicles in the sampled areas. Benzo[a]pyrene has the highest contribution (average = 32, 4 % for gaseous and particulate phases) to the total carcinogenic activity (TCA) of atmospheric PAHs. While particulate phase PAHs have higher contribution to the TCA, gaseous phase PAHs present at higher concentrations in the atmosphere are more capable of undergoing atmospheric reactions to form more toxic derivatives.
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    • "The latter, in particular, enables estimation of the total body burden, irrespective of the exposure sources and it has been implemented for many years in both occupational and environmental settings, by measuring urinary metabolites of single compounds such as 1-hydroxypyrene, naphthols or phenanthrols (Hansen et al., 2008; Serdar et al., 2003; Rossbach et al., 2007). Since the composition of the PAH mixture depends on the emission sources and the temperature of the combustion process, the quantification of multiple urinary hydroxylated PAHs metabolites (Rossella et al., 2009; Aquilina et al., 2010; Ramsauer et al., 2011) and of the unmetabolized parent compounds in urine or blood (Campo et al., 2007; Sobus et al., 2009; Singh et al., 2008; Campo et al., 2010) has been proposed as alternative to obtain a specific profile of exposure that may be useful in risk assessment. "
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    • "Air quality samples of known markers of ETS, benzene and 1,3 butadiene (Aquilina et al., 2010; Hodgson et al., 1996), were recorded in a number of pubs in Dublin city centre. Samples were recorded during Fig. 1. "
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    ABSTRACT: Tobacco control policy has been enacted in many jurisdictions worldwide banning smoking in the workplace. In the hospitality sector many businesses such as bars, hotels and restaurants have installed designated smoking areas on their premises and allowance for such smoking areas has been made in the tobacco control legislation of many countries. An investigation was carried out into the level of exposure to environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) present in 8 pubs in Ireland which included designated smoking areas complying with two different definitions of a smoking area set out in Irish legislation. In addition, ETS exposure in a pub with a designated smoking area not in compliance with the legislation was also investigated. The results of this investigation showed that the two differing definitions of a smoking area present in pubs produced similar concentrations of benzene within smoking areas (5.1-5.4 μg/m(3)) but differing concentrations within the 'smoke-free' areas (1.42-3.01 μg/m(3)). Smoking areas in breach of legislative definitions were found to produce the highest levels of benzene in the smoking area (49.5 μg/m(3)) and 'smoke-free' area (7.68 μg/m(3)). 3D exposure modelling of hypothetical smoking areas showed that a wide range of ETS exposure concentrations were possible in smoking areas with the same floor area and same smoking rate but differing height to width and length to width ratios. The results of this investigation demonstrate that significant scope for improvement of ETS exposure concentrations in pubs and in smoking areas may exist by refining and improving the legislative definitions of smoking areas in law.
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