Haemoglobin adducts from aromatic amines in children in relation to area of residence and exposure to environmental tobacco smoke

Int Arch Occup Environ Health. 2001 Aug;74(6):421-8. doi: 10.1007/s004200100243.


Objective: The influence of area of residence on haemoglobin (Hb) adducts of 4-aminobiphenyl (4-ABP), o-, m-, p-toluidine and o-anisidine was investigated in children from three different-sized Bavarian cities - Munich, Augsburg and Eichstätt, with 1,300,000, 250,000 and 13,000 inhabitants, respectively--and was compared with that of exposure to environmental tobacco smoke (ETS).

Methods: Blood samples from Munich (n = 34) and Eichstätt (n = 64) were from children attending the Paediatric Clinic of the Technical University of Munich (TUM) or a practice in Eichstätt, respectively. Blood samples (n = 126) together with urine samples (n = 88) were collected from Augsburg children during school medical examination. Personal data including possible sources of ETS exposure were obtained at the interview. Hb adduct levels were analysed by a gas chromatographic method, using mass spectrometry with selected-ion monitoring. Urinary cotinine was determined by radioimmunoassay.

Results: 4-ABP Hb adduct levels in children from Munich were 1.5 and 1.2 times higher than those in children from Eichstätt and Augsburg (P < 0.001). Children from Munich also had significantly higher Hb adduct levels of monocyclic aromatic amines than did children from Eichstätt and, except for o-toluidine, children from Augsburg (P < 0.005). Compared with children from Eichstätt, children from Augsburg had higher Hb adduct levels of 4-ABP, o- and m-toluidine (P < 0.01) but not p-toluidine and o-anisidine. In a multivariate analysis, gender, age and body mass index had no consistent influence on Hb adducts. ETS exposure resulted in a slight, nonsignificant increase in 4-ABP Hb adduct levels. In contrast, adduct levels from monocyclic aromatic amines were consistently decreased in ETS-exposed children (significant for o- and m-toluidine, P<0.05).

Conclusions: Hb adducts from aromatic amines in children were strongly influenced by site of residence, whereas ETS exposure did not significantly increase the adduct levels.JECT

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amines / adverse effects*
  • Child
  • Environmental Exposure / analysis*
  • Germany
  • Hemoglobins / chemistry*
  • Humans
  • Residence Characteristics*
  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution / adverse effects*


  • Amines
  • Hemoglobins
  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution