Evaluation of urinary excretion of 1-hydroxypyrene and thioethers in workers exposed to bitumen fumes

Int Arch Occup Environ Health. 1992;63(6):397-401. doi: 10.1007/BF00386935.


Biological monitoring of exposure to bitumen fumes during road-paving operations was carried out. In order to evaluate the biological uptake of the workers, the nonselective urinary thioether assay and a selective method for the determination of urinary 1-hydroxypyrene were used. Urinary thioether data of exposed workers were higher than those of nonexposed subjects. The effect of smoking, however, was stronger than the effect of occupational exposure. Levels of 1-hydroxypyrene in road-paving workers were significantly higher than those in control subjects. The 1-hydroxypyrene level was also influenced by smoking habits, but the effect of occupational exposure was stronger. Our present data suggest that enhanced urine levels of both thioethers and 1-hydroxypyrene in bitumen workers may indicate an increased genotoxic risk. Furthermore, our results demonstrate the applicability of the 1-hydroxypyrene assay after occupational exposure to petroleum-based products.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Environmental Monitoring
  • Humans
  • Hydrocarbons / adverse effects*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Occupational Exposure*
  • Polycyclic Compounds / adverse effects*
  • Pyrenes / metabolism*
  • Smoking / adverse effects
  • Sulfides / urine*


  • Hydrocarbons
  • Polycyclic Compounds
  • Pyrenes
  • Sulfides
  • asphalt
  • 1-hydroxypyrene