Estimating the contribution of inhalation exposure to di-2-ethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP) for PVC production workers, using personal air sampling and urinary metabolite monitoring

Jer Pei Fong, Fang Jin Lee, I. Syuan Lu, Shi Nian Uang, Ching Chang Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Because of troubling reports of high urinary metabolite levels and adverse reproductive health effects in workers exposed to di(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate (DEHP) in occupational settings, concern about exposure to DEHP in occupational settings is increasing. However, the contributions of different routes of exposure to DEHP are unclear. We used personal air sampling and biomonitoring to determine the contribution of inhalation exposure to the body burden of DEHP in the workplace. Eighty-nine workers (high-exposure group: 66 raw-materials workers; low-exposure group: 23 administrative workers) were recruited from three polyvinyl chloride (PVC) factories. Urinary levels of mono(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (MEHP), (mono(2-ethyl-5-oxohexyl) phthalate (MEOHP), and mono(2-ethyl-5-hydroxyhexyl) phthalate (MEHHP) were measured in pre-shift and post-shift samples. The geometric means of airborne concentrations of DEHP were 5.3μg/m3 (low-exposure group) and 32.7μg/m3 (high-exposure group) (P<0.01). Correlation analysis showed a consistently significant association between airborne DEHP concentration and urinary DEHP metabolite levels in the high-exposure group. Calculating daily DEHP intake based on total urinary metabolite levels showed that the geometric means of total daily urinary metabolite levels of DEHP were 9.2μg/kg/day (low-exposure group) and 15.5μg/kg/day (high-exposure group) (P<0.01). A quartile analysis of all workers showed a significant trend toward an association between the individual contribution of inhalation exposure to DEHP and urinary DEHP metabolite levels, for which the mean inhalation contribution was 46.7% in the highest quartile. We conclude that inhalation-absorbed airborne DEHP significantly increased the total body burden of DEHP in these occupationally exposed workers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)102-109
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health
Volume217
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Jan 1

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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