Industrial Health
Online ISSN : 1880-8026
Print ISSN : 0019-8366
ISSN-L : 0019-8366
Original Article
Biological monitoring of occupational ethylbenzene exposure by means of urinalysis for un-metabolized ethylbenzene
Toshio KAWAIHaruhiko SAKURAIMasayuki IKEDA
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2019 Volume 57 Issue 4 Pages 525-529


This study aimed to examine quantitative relation between ethylbenzene (EB) in air (EB-A) and un-metabolized EB in urine (EB-U) for biological monitoring of occupational EB exposure by urinalysis for EB. In total, 49 men in furniture production factories participated in the study. Time-weighted average EB-A was monitored by diffusive sampling. Urinalysis for EB was conducted by head-space gas-chromatography with end-of-shift samples. Data were subjected to regression analysis for statistical evaluation. A geometric mean (GM) and the maximum (Max) EB-A levels were 2.1 and 45.5 ppm, respectively. A GM and the Max for EB-U (observed values) were 4.6 and 38.7 µg/l. A significant linear correlation was observed. The regression equation was Y=3.1+0.73X where X is EB-A (ppm) and Y is EB-U (μg/l) (r=0.91, p<0.01). The significant correlation between EB-A and EB-U coupled with a small intercept suggests that biological monitoring of occupational EB exposure is possible by analysis for un-metabolized EB in end-of-shift urine samples. Further validation studies (including those on applicability to women) are envisaged. The feasibility should be examined for biological monitoring and the applicability of the equation among the workers exposed to EB at low levels.

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© 2019 by National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health
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