Exposure of Sweepers to Volatile Organic Compounds Using Urinary Biological Exposure Index

AR Bahrami, M Ansari


Background: Evaluation of exposition to Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) and compare urinary level of urinary biological exposure index in sweepers in West of Iran.

Methods: This study was carried out on 40 street sweepers and 40 non-exposed as control group living in Hamadan City, west of Iran. VOC was analyzed using gas chromatography equipped with a Flame Ionization Detector (FID). The urinary biological exposure index (BEI) was analyzed with High performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) equipped with an ultraviolet (UV) detector. The concentration of benzene , toluene, m & p-xylene o-xylene and ethyl benzene was 39.01, 121.60, 27.12, 12.30, and 10.21 (μg/m3), respectively.

Results: No-difference in the levels of hippuric acid in urine was found in sweepers compared with the control group. Significance differences in the level of o-cresol in urine were found in sweepers compared to control group (P< 0.005). The poor correlation coefficient was seen between xylenes concentration and urinary MHA for drivers.

Conclusion: High VOC are emitted inside of cities at Iran. O-cresol could separate the exposed to toluene from the non-exposed in sweepers. Hippuric acid, methyl hippuric acid and muconic acid arenot suitable biomarkers for occupations such as sweepers exposure to VOC in low concentration


Xylene, Methylhippuric acid, Petroleum, Urine, Air

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