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Biological monitoring of styrene exposed workers: Field Study regarding the usability of exhaled air

Project number: F 2400 Institution: Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (BAuA) Status: Ongoing Project Planned end: 2019-12-31


Styrene, a neurotoxic aromatic hydrocarbon, is a basic chemical in the chemical industry. For example, styrene is the parent substance of polystyrene and it is used as solvent and reactant for unsaturated polyester resins and varnishes.

For biological monitoring of styrene exposed workers the determination of mandelic acid and phenylglyoxylic acid in urine is common. Both metabolites are non-specific for styrene. In contrast, styrene in exhaled air is a specific marker for a styrene exposure. Breath sampling is well accepted by workers and enables self sampling, including sample shipment, by the workers. Thereby, the use of biological monitoring is facilitated, especially in smaller companies.

Against this background, the usability of exhaled air for a biological monitoring of styrene exposed workers will be studied under field conditions. In addition, workplace air monitoring of styrene will be conducted.


Unit 4.2 "Health Surveillance, Biological Monitoring"

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