Journal Article

Biomonitoring for Exposure Assessment to Styrene in the Fibreglass Reinforced Plastic Industry: Determinants and Interferents

Rossana Claudia Bonanni, Maria Pia Gatto, Enrico Paci, Andrea Gordiani, Monica Gherardi and Giovanna Tranfo

in The Annals of Occupational Hygiene

Volume 59, issue 8, pages 1000-1011
Published in print October 2015 | ISSN: 0003-4878
Published online July 2015 | e-ISSN: 1475-3162 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/annhyg/mev047
Biomonitoring for Exposure Assessment to Styrene in the Fibreglass Reinforced Plastic Industry: Determinants and Interferents

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Fifty-eight workers exposed to styrene were monitored in four fibreglass reinforced plastic industries of Central Italy. The aim of the study was to explore the factors that can influence the levels of styrene exposure biomarkers of the workers and the aspects that might interfere with the exposure assessment measures, such as the co-exposure to acetone. Personal monitoring of professional exposure to airborne styrene and acetone was carried out by Radiello® samplers and GC/MS analysis. Biological monitoring was performed by the determination of urinary metabolites, mandelic (MA), and phenylglyoxylic (PGA) acids with HPLC/MS/MS and unmetabolized styrene in saliva and venous blood by HS/GC/MS. The median values of the four sites ranged between 24.1 to 94.0mg m–3 and 7.3 to 331.1mg g–1 creatinine for airborne styrene and MA + PGA, respectively. A good linear correlation was found between styrene in air and its urinary metabolites (r = 0.854). The median value for airborne styrene was found to exceed the (Threshold Limit Value - Time Weighted Average) of 85mg m−3 in one site for all the workers and in two if only moulders are considered. The multiple linear regression model showed that the determinants of urinary MA + PGA excretion were the type of process, workers’ tasks, level of acetone co-exposure, and the use of respiratory protection devices. Data show that the simultaneous exposure to acetone modify the styrene metabolism with a reduction in the levels of (MA + PGA) excreted. A significant linear log-correlation was found between salivary levels of styrene and blood concentration (r = 0.746) sampled at the same t x time.

Keywords: acetone co-exposure; biological monitoring; fibreglass; saliva matrix; styrene

Journal Article.  5708 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Occupational Medicine

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