Occurrence of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon metabolites in urine of portuguese firefighters Conference Paper uri icon


  • The present work estimates occupational exposure of healthy and non-smoking Portuguese firefighters to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) through the analysis of four urinary metabolites (OH-PAHs): 1-hydroxyacenaphthene, 1-hydroxynaphthalene, 1-hydroxypyrene (PAH biomarker of exposure), and 3-hydroxybenzo[a]pyrene (PAH biomarker of carcinogenicity). Firemen from several Portuguese corporations were asked to provide urine samples during the winter period (without exposition to fires; pre-fire season) and during the summer season of 2014 after fires fighting. The selected OH-PAHs were extracted from urine samples by solid-phase extraction and analyzed by high-performance liquid chromatography with fluorescence detection. Normalization of the urinary PAH-metabolite levels was achieved by analyzing the creatinine concentrations. 1-hydroxynaphthalene and 1-hydroxyacenaphthene were the most abundant metabolites, followed by 1-hydroxypyrene. The metabolite 3- hydroxybenzo[a]pyrene was not detected. Total OH-PAHs ranged from 0.02 to 4.01 μmol/mol creatinine and between 0.55 to 8.39 μmol/mol creatinine, respectively, for non exposed and exposed firefighters. In general, the detected concentrations of urinary PAH metabolites were higher during the fire season than in the winter season.

publication date

  • January 1, 2015