Dose-dependent production of urinary naphthols among workers exposed to jet fuel (JP-8)

Am J Ind Med. 2004 Sep;46(3):234-44. doi: 10.1002/ajim.20049.


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.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Air Pollutants, Occupational / toxicity*
  • Aircraft*
  • Environmental Monitoring
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hydrocarbons / toxicity*
  • Male
  • Military Personnel*
  • Naphthalenes / toxicity
  • Naphthols / urine*
  • Occupational Exposure / adverse effects*


  • Air Pollutants, Occupational
  • Hydrocarbons
  • JP8 aviation fuel
  • Naphthalenes
  • Naphthols
  • naphthalene