Original article

Scand J Work Environ Health 1993;19(3):175-182    pdf


Urinary styrene in the biological monitoring of styrene exposure.

by Gobba F, Galassi C, Ghittori S, Imbriani M, Pugliese F, Cavalleri A

The urinary excretion of styrene represents a promising indicator of exposure to this solvent. Nevertheless extensive research under field conditions is scant. In this investigation 214 styrene-exposed workers from 10 fiberglass-reinforced plastics factories were studied. Environmental monitoring was performed by personal passive sampling. Blood styrene and the urinary excretion of styrene and its main metabolites, mandelic acid (MA) and phenylglyoxylic acid (PGA), were measured. The correlation coefficient between the time-weighted average of environmental styrene and the mean urinary excretion of styrene was 0.88 (0.91 after logarithmic transformation), compared with the 0.82 and 0.78 of the end-of-shift MA and PGA values, respectively. A high correlation (0.86) was also found between styrene in the blood and urine. The results, obtained under field conditions with a large group of exposed workers, confirm the usefulness of the urinary excretion of styrene as an exposure index for the biological monitoring of styrene exposure.