Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAH's)

The polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are common industrial chemicals. PAHs are employed in research, medicines, dyes, plastics and pesticides. Exposure to the PAHs is associated with the combustion of fossil fuels. Occupational exposure to PAHs may occur during oil and petroleum refining, aluminium smelting, bitumen processing and road paving. Steel plant and foundry workers can also be exposed to PAHs. Vehicle exhausts are a major source of environmental PAHs. PAH exposure is associated with an increased risk of cancers.

The assessment of occupational and environmental exposure to PAHs is difficult. The determination of airborne PAH levels fails to take into account the potential pathway of skin absorption, which can contribute significantly to the total internal dose. The most widely used biomarker of PAH exposure is urinary 1-hydroxypyrene (1-HP). Urinary 1-HP Biomonitoring Guidance Values have been published.

Chemitrace are now developing an ELISA for the laboratory analysis of urinary 1-HP. The results of this work, presented at ICOH 2015, IOHA 2015 and BOHS 2016, were well received by professionals working in the field of occupational and environmental health.

Chemitrace are also considering a point of care test. This simple and novel “dipstick” would enable on-site testing and real time monitoring allowing employers to demonstrate the immediate impact of good working practice and provide immediate reassurance to workers involved in potentially hazardous tasks.

If you would like to know more about our PAH research and development programme then please contact us to discuss this further.

PAH talk presented at IOHA 2015 (International Occupational Health Association conference) in London


What products & services do Chemitrace offer for PAH biomonitoring?

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