1-Hydroxypyrene levels in coal-handling workers at a coke oven.
An environmental and medical survey was conducted at the coal-handling area of a coke oven, where workers came in contact with coal-tar sludge. The purpose of the study was to determine if skin contact with coal-tar sludge was an important route of exposure to pyrene because workers were observed to have substantial contact with the sludge. Environmental monitoring revealed minimal airborne exposure to pyrene, a byproduct of the coke distillation process; only one personal breathing zone sample detected pyrene, and at least of 0.001 mg/m3. However, the mean preshift urinary 1-hydroxypyrene concentration was 1.00 mumol/mol creatinine (range, 0.16 to 2.96 mumol/mol creatinine) and the mean postshift level was 1.7 mumol/mol creatinine (range, 0.24 to 4.85 mumol/mol creatinine) (P < 0.01). These levels probably reflect absorption as a result of skin exposure.
Malkin, R; Kiefer, M; Tolos, W
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