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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Urinary excretion of o-cresol and hippuric acid after toluene exposure in rotogravure printing.

In 62 male rotogravure printers, the time-weighted average (TWA) toluene exposure during one workweek ranged from 8 to 496 mg/m3 (median 96). Post-shift urinary excretion of hippuric acid showed a poor correlation with the air toluene concentration. Level of o-cresol excretion ranged from 0.08 to 2.37 mmol/ mol creatinine and was associated with the exposure (rS = 0.57, P less than 0.0001), although the variation was considerable. However, this metabolite was significantly influenced by smoking habits, both in the workers (0.34 vs 0.10 mmol/ mol creatinine after adjustment to zero exposure for the smokers and non-smokers, respectively; P = 0.03) and in 21 unexposed controls (0.18 vs 0.06 mmol/ mol creatinine; P = 0.002). The excretion of these metabolites was followed during vacation, when the workers were unexposed. The shared one-compartment half-time was 44 h (+/- SE 30, 82). After 2-4 weeks of vacation, the concentration of o-cresol was significantly higher for the smokers than the non-smokers (0.14 vs 0.06 mmol/ mol creatinine; P = 0.02). No smoking-associated difference was found for the urinary hippuric acid concentration. However, there was an association between alcohol consumption and hippuric acid excretion (P = 0.03); no such difference was shown for o-cresol. These results demonstrate that hippuric acid excretion is unsuitable for biological monitoring of toluene exposure when the exposure level is below 200 mg/m3. Also, in spite of the favourable excretion kinetics, the impact of smoking and the large interindividual variation warrant the same conclusion for o-cresol as a means of monitoring low level exposure in an individual worker.[1]


  1. Urinary excretion of o-cresol and hippuric acid after toluene exposure in rotogravure printing. Nise, G. International archives of occupational and environmental health. (1992) [Pubmed]
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