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Benzene Exposure Monitoring of Tunisian Workers

Chakroun, Radhouane MSC; Kaabachi, Néziha MD; Hedhili, Abderrazek MD; Feki, Moncef MD; Nouaigui, Habib MD; Laiba, Mohamed Ben MD; Mebazaa, Abderraouf MD

Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine:
Original Articles

To monitor benzene exposure and to check reliability of urinary trans,trans-Muconic Acid (t,t-MA) as a bio-marker of benzene exposure in local conditions, a study was conducted on 30 Tunisian exposed workers (20 tanker fillers and 10 filling station attendants). The analyses were carried out on environmental air and urinary t,t-MA before (t,t-MAA) and at the end of work shift (t,t-MAB). 20 nonoccupationally exposed subjects were also investigated. The average value of environmental benzene concentration was 0.17 ppm. The differences between t,t-MAA and t,t-MAB concentrations and between t,t-MAB and t,t-MA measured in controls (t,t-MAC) were both significant (p < 0.001). Benzene air concentrations were well correlated with t,t-MAB: R = 0.76. In the nonexposed group, average t,t-MA concentrations is significantly higher among smokers than nonsmokers (P < 0.02). Analysis of urinary t,t-MA offers a relatively simple and suitable method for benzene exposure monitoring.

Author Information

From the Biology and Occupational Toxicology Laboratories Department at the Institute of Occupational Health and Safety, Tunisia (Dr Chakroun); the Departments of Biochemistry and Toxicology at the Faculty of Pharmacy of Monastir, Tunisia (Dr Kaabachi, Dr Hedhili); the Department of Biochemistry at the Faculty of Medicine of Tunis, Tunisia (Dr Feki, Dr Mebazaa); the Institute of Occupational Health and Safety, Tunisia (Dr Nouaigui, Dr Ben Laiba); and the Biochemistry Laboratory Department, LA RABTA Hospital, Tunisia (Dr Mebazaa).

Address correspondence to: Radhouane Chakroun, MSC, Head Chief, Biology and Occupational Toxicology Lab, ISST, 5 BD. M.Khaznadar, Tunis, 1007, Tunisia; e-mail:

Copyright © by American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine

©2002The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine