A urinary metabolite of phenanthrene as a biomarker of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon metabolic activation in workers exposed to residual oil fly ash

Jee Young Kim, Stephen S. Hecht, Sutapa Mukherjee, Steven G. Carmella, Ema G. Rodrigues, David C. Christian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Residual oil fly ash is a chemically complex combustion product containing a significant component of potentially carcinogenic transition metals and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH). Various biomarkers of PAH exposure have been investigated previously, most notably 1-hydroxypyrene (1-OHP), in urine. In this study, we assessed the utility of r-1,t-2,3,c-4-tetrahydroxy-1,2,3,4- tetrahydrophenanthrene (trans, anti-PheT), a metabolite of phenanthrene, to detect occupational PAH exposure. Urine samples collected across the workweek were analyzed for 1-OHP and trans, anti-PheT in boilermakers (n = 20) exposed to residual oil fly ash. Median baseline urinary trans, anti-PheT concentrations were 0.50 μg/g creatinine in current tobacco smokers and 0.39 μg/g creatinine in nonsmokers. Median baseline urinary 1-OHP concentrations in smokers and nonsmokers were 0.31 and 0.13 μgg/g creatinine, respectively. To study further the effect of smoking exposure on the urinary PAH markers, urinary cotinine was used. Although urinary trans, anti-PheT and 1-OHP concentrations were correlated (Spearman r = 0.63; P < 0.001) for all subjects, the regression coefficient between log-transformed trans, anti-PheT and log 1-OHP was statistically significant only for subjects with low levels of urinary cotinine or for nonsmokers. Each 1-unit increase in log 1-OHP was associated with a 0.77-unit increase (95% confidence interval, 0.45-1.09) in log trans, anti-PheT in subjects with low levels of urinary cotinine (P < 0.001). In these subjects, dichotomized occupational exposure status was a significant predictor of log trans, anti-PheT (P = 0.02) but not of log 1-OHP (P = 0.2). In conclusion, we found that urinary trans, anti-PheT was detected in levels comparable with 1-OHP in occupationally exposed workers, particularly nonsmokers. This study shows that urinary trans, anti-PheT may be an effective biomarker of uptake and metabolic activation of PAHs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)687-692
Number of pages6
JournalCancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention
Volume14
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2005
Externally publishedYes

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