Document Type

Thesis

Date of Award

5-31-1989

Degree Name

Master of Science in Environmental Science - (M.S.)

Department

Chemical Engineering, Chemistry and Environmental Science

First Advisor

Arthur Greenberg

Second Advisor

Barbara B. Kebbekus

Third Advisor

Richard B. Trattner

Abstract

A method developed by Becher and Bjorseth for analysis of PAH metabolites in urine was employed to investigate human exposure to benzo(a)pyrene (BaP) - an ubiquitous environmental carcinogen. Preliminary results are presented showing the relationship between exposure to BaP and urinary elimination. Although the correlation between the two variables is not statistically significant, there appears to be a positive association with selected exposure varibles such as smoking. The identification of an association may establish urinary BaP as a marker of exposure.

However, detailed study of the analytical procedure indicated that recoveries with this method were as low as 3-8% for the total procedure and uncertainties in the urinary BaP determination are likely to be high due to the low recoveries of the method. Iodine formed during the reduction reaction was found to be responsible for the low recovery of BaP and attempts were made to improve recoveries. The chemical treatment of the sample was modified to include red phosphorus which is believed to quench free iodine and prevent its reaction with the parent BaP. Pyrene and pyrene metabolites had acceptable recoveries with the Becher/Bjorseth procedure.

These improved detection techniques were developed to make these compounds usful as biomarkers for assessment of environmental human exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons.

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