Background: Jet propulsion fuel-8 (JP-8) is one of the largest sources of chemical exposures among Air Force personnel. Urinary naphthols have been suggested as useful biomarkers of exposure to JP-8.
Methods: Multivariate linear regression models were applied to evaluate the effects of environmental and work-related factors upon production of urinary naphthols among 323 Air Force personnel.
Results: Naphthalene exposure, smoking status, and their interaction, plus self-reported skin irritation explained about two-thirds of the variation in naphthol levels. The exposure-smoking interaction was consistent with induction by smoking of one or more steps in the metabolism of naphthalene and naphthalene-1,2-oxide (NapO). A supralinear dose-response relationship was observed between urinary naphthols and naphthalene exposure.
Conclusions: Urinary naphthols were associated with specific sources of exposure to JP-8, arising from both inhalation and dermal contact. Smokers and nonsmokers metabolized naphthalene at different rates, consistent with induction of at least two metabolic pathways by smoking.