Efficacy of Urinary Hippuric Acid as a Biomarker of Low Level Exposure to Toluene in Petroleum Depot Workers

  • ZAHRA NAGHAVI-KONJIN Mail Department of Occupational Health, School of Public Health, Alborz University of Medical Sciences, Karaj, Iran.
  • MANSOUR REZAZADEH-AZARI Department of Occupational Health, School of Public Health, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
  • YASER SHEKOOHI Department of Occupational Health, School of Public Health, Alborz University of Medical Sciences, Karaj, Iran.
  • MITRA RAHIMZADEH Research Center of Social Health Determinant, Alborz Medical University, Karaj, Iran.
  • MIRDAVOUD SEYEDI National Iranian Oil Production and Distribution Company – HSE Department.
Toluene, biomarker, biological monitoring, Hippuric Acid


Exposure to toluene can be associate with genotoxicity, neurological dysfunction, reproductive toxicity, and etc. Biomonitoring of hippuric acid (HA) is used for a long time as an occupational exposure index to toluene. The aim of this study was to explore efficiency of HA as a biomarker of exposure to low level of toluene for Iranian Petroleum Depot workers in 2011. Personal monitoring to toluene exposure for 45 workers (exposed group) and 32 staff (control group) were done according to the NIOSH Method No.1501, and simultaneous biological monitoring were conducted as urinary HA for all subjects. Pre and post shift urine samples were collected for analysis of HA by the NIOSH method No.8300 and urinary HA concentrations were corrected with creatinine content. Personal exposure of petroleum loading operators to toluene was 0.78±0.37ppm (Mean±SE). There was no statistical significant difference between urinary HA of exposed and control groups (staff). There was no statistical correlation between occupational exposure to toluene and internal exposure in term of HA. Occupational exposures to toluene were less than TLV in petroleum products loading operators. Due to exposure with low levels of toluene concentrations, however the content of urinary HA in gasoline operators were higher than BEI (Biological Exposure Index), but of no significant relationship between airborne concentrations of toluene and levels of HA in urine in all exposed groups. In conclusion, urinary HA is not appropriate biomarker of low level exposure to toluene.


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How to Cite
NAGHAVI-KONJIN Z, REZAZADEH-AZARI M, SHEKOOHI Y, RAHIMZADEH M, SEYEDI M. Efficacy of Urinary Hippuric Acid as a Biomarker of Low Level Exposure to Toluene in Petroleum Depot Workers. Int J Occup Hyg. 5(3):139-143.
Original Article(s)