1996 Volume 34 Issue 4 Pages 409-414
In order to investigate a role of acetone in urine (AcU, mg/l) as an indicator of occupational exposure to isopropyl alcohol (IPA, ppm), AcU was measured in 80 male workers exposed to this substance in a plastic factory. The exposure concentration of solvent was also monitored personal diffusive sampling in the individuals during morning 4-hr shift. Urine samples were collected near the end of the shift and were analyzed for acetone by head-space gas chromatography. The correlation between airbornre concentration of IPA and its urinary metabolite acetone was significant:
AcU (mg/l)=0.031 x IPA (ppm)+0.608, r=0.75, n=80, p<0.001.
We established 44ppm as the lowest airborne concentration of IPA that caused excessive urinary excretion of acetone which could be discriminated from the endogenous production of acetone in non-exposed people. This concentration was as low as one ninth to one tenth of the current exposure limit of 400ppm. At higher concentrations than 44ppm, AcU was found to be a useful index for monitoring occupational exposure to IPA.