Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

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


Chemical Engineering, Chemistry and Environmental Science

First Advisor

Arthur Greenberg

Second Advisor

Barbara B. Kebbekus

Third Advisor

Richard B. Trattner


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.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.