Biological monitoring of environmental exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons; 1-hydroxypyrene in urine of people

Toxicol Lett. 1994 Jun;72(1-3):205-11. doi: 10.1016/0378-4274(94)90030-2.


A biomarker of human exposure to chemical agents provides a valuable parameter for assessing the extent and significance of the uptake by giving a measurement that is direct and integrated over time and exposure routes. Urinary 1-hydroxypyrene is currently tested as a biomarker for the assessment of low level environmental exposure of people to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH). Five examples of the application of urinary 1-hydroxypyrene methodology in the assessment of environmental exposure to PAH are presented: inhalation of tobacco smoke; inhalation of urban outdoor air; windsurfers sailing on polluted water; absorption of contaminated food; exposure in an urban area with many heavy industries. The examples illustrate that the urinary 1-hydroxypyrene test is sufficiently sensitive. Urinary 1-hydroxypyrene is an effective biomarker for the assessment of human environmental exposure to PAH.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Air Pollutants / metabolism
  • Air Pollutants / pharmacokinetics
  • Biomarkers / urine
  • Child
  • Environmental Exposure*
  • Environmental Monitoring / methods
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Polycyclic Compounds / metabolism
  • Polycyclic Compounds / pharmacokinetics*
  • Polycyclic Compounds / urine*
  • Pyrenes / metabolism
  • Pyrenes / pharmacokinetics*
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical / metabolism
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical / pharmacokinetics


  • Air Pollutants
  • Biomarkers
  • Polycyclic Compounds
  • Pyrenes
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical
  • 1-hydroxypyrene