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Perchloroethylene in Alveolar Air, Blood, and Urine as Biologic Indices of Low-Level Exposure

Gobba, Fabriziomaria MD; Righi, Elena PhD; Fantuzzi, Guglielmina MSc; Roccatto, Luigi MD; Predieri, Guerrino BSc; Aggazzotti, Gabriella MSc

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: November 2003 - Volume 45 - Issue 11 - p 1152-1157
doi: 10.1097/01.jom.0000094990.52172.ea
ORIGINAL ARTICLES: CM: CME Article #3
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Learning Objectives 
  • Discuss the epidemiological aspects of perchloroethylene (PCE) pollution and its potential to cause disease and the indices for monitoring PCE exposure.
  • Report on how closely estimates of PCE in blood, urine, and alveolar air correlate with ambient levels, and how well these estimates correlate with one another.
  • Compare the merits and drawbacks of monitoring PCE exposure by measuring its concentration in alveolar air, blood, or urine.

Discuss the epidemiological aspects of perchloroethylene (PCE) pollution and its potential to cause disease and the indices for monitoring PCE exposure.Report on how closely estimates of PCE in blood, urine, and alveolar air correlate with ambient levels, and how well these estimates correlate with one another.Compare the merits and drawbacks of monitoring PCE exposure by measuring its concentration in alveolar air, blood, or urine. We studied the reliability of biologic indices for monitoring perchlorethylene (PCE) exposure at low environmental solvent concentrations. Environmental monitoring was performed by personal sampling, biologic monitoring by measuring PCE in alveolar air (PCE-Alv), blood (PCE-B), and urine (PCE-U) in 26 low-exposed dry-cleaners. Correlation coefficients (r) between environmental PCE and PCE-B, PCE-Alv, and PCE-U were 0.94, 0.81, and 0.67 respectively. A high correlation was also found among biologic indices:r value was 0.96 between PCE-B and PCE-Alv, 0.95 between PCE-B and PCE-U, and 0.87 between alveolar PCE-Alv and PCE-U. The examined biologic indices proved sensitive enough for biologic monitoring of low exposure to PCE and can give substantially similar information in terms of exposure evaluation. PCE-Alv offers some advantages because it correlated better with exposure and is analytically simpler.

From the Dipartimento di Scienze Igienistiche, Università di Modena e Reggio Emilia, Modena, Italy.

Address correspondence to: Prof. Fabriziomaria Gobba, Dipartimento di Scienze Igienistiche, Università di Modena e Reggio Emilia, Via Campi 287, 41,100 Modena (MO), Italy; E-mail: f.gobba@unimore.it.

The authors have no commercial interest related to this article. The work was supported by a Grant from the Ministry of Labor of Italy.

©2003The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine