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Korean J Aerosp Environ Med. 2004 Mar;14(1):16-25. Korean. Original Article.
Sim S , Kim Y , Kang D , Kim K , Song J .
Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Hanyang University Medical Center, Korea. jsong@hanyang.ac.kr
Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Kyunghee Medical Center, Korea.
Abstract

BACKGROUND: The purpose of this study is to find out the relationship between the airborne toluene concentrations and the daily urinary metabolites such as hippuric acid and o-cresol for a sequential 5 days and to provide the appropriate sampling time for a special physical examination in the workers exposed to toluene. METHODS: The volunteers of 36 workers in the shoe making company were selected to measure the concentrations of airborne toluene exposure and to sample the daily urines in pre and end-shift for sequential 5 days form Monday to Friday and to get self-administered questionnaire including the items such as job records, disease records, smoking, alcohol drinking, eating some foods containing benzoic acid before work. RESULTS: The geometric means of toluene concentrations showed 46.40 ppm as the lowest value on Monday and 62.31 ppm as the highest one on Thursday. But there is no significant difference between both of those. The concentrations of hippuric acid and o-cresol in urine sampled on end-shift were higher than that of the others and showed statistically significant differences on each day. The metabolites of toluene were not related with taking alcohol and some foods containing benzoic acid as a result of logistic regression. CONCLUSION: From the above results, it is suggested that the hippuric acid and o-cresol in urine be very useful for biological monitoring in the workers exposed to toluene. Moreover, the daily hippuric acid and o-cresol concentrations in urine are also important for toluene exposure assessment and the further study has to be conducted to find out the tendency of biological exposure indices for continuous toluene exposure.

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