Dermal exposure to jet fuel JP-8 significantly contributes to the production of urinary naphthols in fuel-cell maintenance workers

Environ Health Perspect. 2006 Feb;114(2):182-5. doi: 10.1289/ehp.8288.


Jet propulsion fuel 8 (JP-8) is the major jet fuel used worldwide and has been recognized as a major source of chemical exposure, both inhalation and dermal, for fuel-cell maintenance workers. We investigated the contributions of dermal and inhalation exposure to JP-8 to the total body dose of U.S. Air Force fuel-cell maintenance workers using naphthalene as a surrogate for JP-8 exposure. Dermal, breathing zone, and exhaled breath measurements of naphthalene were obtained using tape-strip sampling, passive monitoring, and glass bulbs, respectively. Levels of urinary 1- and 2-naphthols were determined in urine samples and used as biomarkers of JP-8 exposure. Multiple linear regression analyses were conducted to investigate the relative contributions of dermal and inhalation exposure to JP-8, and demographic and work-related covariates, to the levels of urinary naphthols. Our results show that both inhalation exposure and smoking significantly contributed to urinary 1-naphthol levels. The contribution of dermal exposure was significantly associated with levels of urinary 2-naphthol but not with urinary 1-naphthol among fuel-cell maintenance workers who wore supplied-air respirators. We conclude that dermal exposure to JP-8 significantly contributes to the systemic dose and affects the levels of urinary naphthalene metabolites. Future work on dermal xenobiotic metabolism and toxicokinetic studies are warranted in order to gain additional knowledge on naphthalene metabolism in the skin and the contribution to systemic exposure.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Cutaneous
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hydrocarbons / analysis
  • Hydrocarbons / metabolism*
  • Hydrocarbons / pharmacokinetics*
  • Inhalation Exposure
  • Male
  • Military Personnel*
  • Naphthols / urine
  • Occupational Exposure*
  • Regression Analysis
  • Smoking
  • Teratogens / analysis
  • Teratogens / metabolism*
  • Teratogens / pharmacokinetics*


  • Hydrocarbons
  • JP8 aviation fuel
  • Naphthols
  • Teratogens
  • 1-naphthol
  • 2-naphthol