Epidemiological studies have shown an increased incidence of cancer among workers occupationally exposed to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). As the dermal route is considered important for exposure to PAHs in the workplace, the aim of this study was to develop and evaluate a tape-stripping technique for monitoring dermal exposure to pyrene and benzo(a)pyrene. The tape-stripping method was evaluated by applying different concentrations of pyrene and benzo(a)pyrene directly onto tape strips (spiked tapes), clean glass plates, and on the skin of five volunteers. The glass plates were stripped using a single strip of tape and the skin of the volunteers was stripped with five consecutive strips of tape after 0 and 30 minutes. The method was also tested on five chimney sweeps at three exposure sites. High-performance liquid chromatography with fluorescence detection was employed for the quantification of pyrene and benzo(a)pyrene. The mean recovery from the spiked tapes was 97% for pyrene and 93% for benzo(a)pyrene. The mean overall recovery from the glass plates was 88% and 76% for pyrene and 88 and 85% for benzo(a)pyrene. The recovery from human skin was 70% and 63% for pyrene and 60 and 54% for benzo(a)pyrene, after 0 and 30 minutes, respectively. A concentration gradient was clearly detected between the five consecutive strips. Detectable amounts of pyrene and benzo(a)pyrene were found on all chimney sweeps at all exposure sites. This method can thus be used to detect and quantify dermal exposure to pyrene and benzo(a)pyrene. The results also show that pyrene and benzo(a)pyrene may be taken up by the skin.
Subject classification (UKÄ)
- Environmental Health and Occupational Health