Metabolism and excretion rates of parent and hydroxy-PAHs in urine collected after consumption of traditionally smoked salmon for Native American volunteers

Sci Total Environ. 2015 May 1;514:170-7. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2015.01.083. Epub 2015 Feb 5.


Few studies have been published on the excretion rates of parent polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and hydroxy-polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (OH-PAHs) following oral exposure. This study investigated the metabolism and excretion rates of 4 parent PAHs and 10 OH-PAHs after the consumption of smoked salmon. Nine members of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation consumed 50 g of traditionally smoked salmon with breakfast and five urine samples were collected during the following 24 h. The concentrations of OH-PAHs increased from 43.9 μg/g creatinine for 2-OH-Nap to 349 ng/g creatinine for 1-OH-Pyr, 3 to 6 h post-consumption. Despite volunteers following a restricted diet, there appeared to be a secondary source of naphthalene and fluorene, which led to excretion efficiencies greater than 100%. For the parent PAHs that were detected in urine, the excretion efficiencies ranged from 13% for phenanthrene (and its metabolite) to 240% for naphthalene (and its metabolites). The half-lives for PAHs ranged from 1.4 h for retene to 3.3h for pyrene. The half-lives for OH-PAHs were higher and ranged from 1.7 h for 9-OH-fluorene to 7.0 h for 3-OH-fluorene. The concentrations of most parent PAHs, and their metabolites, returned to the background levels 24 h post-consumption.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Biomarkers / urine
  • Environmental Exposure / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Food Contamination / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Indians, North American
  • Male
  • Parents
  • Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons / urine*
  • Salmon*
  • Volunteers
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical / urine*


  • Biomarkers
  • Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical