Original article

Scand J Work Environ Health 1988;14(5):322-327    pdf

doi:10.5271/sjweh.1912

Coexposure of man to m-xylene and methyl ethyl ketone. Kinetics and metabolism.

by Liira J, Riihimaki V, Engstrom K, Pfaffli P

In a study of the kinetics and metabolic interaction of xylene and methyl ethyl ketone (MEK) eight male volunteers were exposed to m-xylene (100 ppm) and MEK (200 ppm). The exposures to the two compounds were carried out both separately and in combination. Respiratory uptake and blood concentration, as well as urinary metabolites (methyl hippuric acid and 2,3-butanediol), were monitored. Coexposure to xylene and MEK resulted in inhibited xylene metabolism. The xylene concentration in blood increased significantly, and the urinary excretion of methyl hippuric acid decreased. The combined exposure did not cause any change in the concentration of MEK in the blood or the excretion of 2,3-butanediol in the urine. Exposure to MEK 20 h before the m-xylene exposure had no detectable effect on the kinetics of m-xylene.