A repeated measures short-term prospective study was performed in boilermakers to determine occupational polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) exposure using the biomarker, 1-hydroxypyrene (1-OHP). Two work sites were studied; an apprentice school (metal fume exposure) and a boiler overhaul (residual oil fly ash [ROFA] and metal fume exposure). Pre- and postshift urine samples (n = 241; 41 male subjects) were analyzed for cotinine and 1-OHP. Descriptive statistics and generalized estimating equations were calculated. At the apprentice school cross-shift 1-OHP levels did not significantly differ. At the overhaul 1-OHP levels increased during the week in smokers and nonsmokers; in nonsmokers the 1-OHP level increased significantly postshift compared to preshift. In conclusion this study suggests that boilermakers exposed to occupational particulates are exposed to PAH. The urinary 1-OHP level may be a useful biomarker of PAH exposure in boilermakers exposed to ROFA, particularly in nonsmokers.
From the Department of Environmental Health, Occupational Health Program, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA (Dr Mukherjee, Ms Rodrigues, Dr Christiani); the Department of Environmental Health, Environmental Science and Engineering Program, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA (Mr Weker); the Channing Laboratory, Brigham and Womens Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA (Dr Palmer); and the Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA (Dr Christiani).
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