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Biomonitoring of soil remediation workers´ exposure to polycyclic aromatic compounds (PACs) – method development and characterisation of PACs in blood
Örebro University, School of Science and Technology.
2019 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

For a long period of time, it has been common to use creosote for impregnation of railroad ties. Creosote consists of 85% polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), of which some are carcinogenic and/or mutagenic. In 2016, a soil remediation process was commenced at an old impregnation facility in Sweden and both dermal, urine and blood samples were taken from soil remediation workers to investigate the occupational exposure. The objectives of this study were to develop a method for the extraction of polycyclic aromatic compounds (PACs), including PAHs, oxy-PAHs, alkylated PAHs and dibenzothiophenes and azaarenes from blood, and to quantify PAHs in the collected blood samples from the soil remediation workers. In the method development, two parameters were tested: centrifugation of samples before extraction and use of either basic or deactivated silica in the clean-up step of the blood extracts. The results showed that the best method was without centrifugation and with use of basic silica. Results from the analysis of the soil remediation workers´ blood showed PAHs in average concentrations of 0.05-6.47 ng/mL blood, with fluorene and biphenyl being the most abundant PAHs. The occupational groups (office, machine and sampling) had similar average concentrations of PAHs, with office workers being slightly less exposed. The PAHs blood profile did not reflect the PAHs profiles in contaminated soil from the area; the blood profiles had relatively higher abundances of low molecular weight PAHs, while the soils had higher relative concentrations of middle molecular weight PAHs. Both blood and soils had low relative concentrations of high molecular weight PAHs. Pyrene concentrations in blood and 1-hydroxypyrene metabolite concentrations in urine samples showed no correlation (linearity r2=0.045). Both blood and urine samples from the workers indicated a low exposure of PAHs. The method tested in this study can be used for analysis of a broad range of PACs and seems to be a better approach for studying the exposure of PACs than today’s methods analysing a few urine metabolites. But additional clean-up is suggested to improve the quantification of all blood samples. Further investigations are required to gain an understanding of normal, unexposed PACs levels in blood.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. , p. 33
Keywords [en]
occupational exposure; creosote; contaminated sites; gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS).
National Category
Chemical Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-74387OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-74387DiVA, id: diva2:1317896
Subject / course
Chemistry
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2019-05-24 Created: 2019-05-24 Last updated: 2019-05-24Bibliographically approved

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Biomonitoring of soil remediation workers´ exposure to polycyclic aromatic compounds (PACs) – method development and characterisation of PACs in blood(1927 kB)26 downloads
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