Formate excretion in the urine of workers occupationally exposed to formaldehyde

Popler, A.; Skutilova, I.

Pracovni Lekarstvi 42(4): 167-172


ISSN/ISBN: 0032-6291
Accession: 007358256

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In 48 workers in the chemical industry and in six members of an agricultural cooperative the authors followed formate excretion in urine in relation to formaldehyde concentration in working atmosphere. Formaldehyde in the air was determined by passive dosimeters P-4 or P-6, formate was determined by gas chromatography. Formate concentration in the urine of 58 unexposed persons was 0.035 mmol .times. mmol-1 creatinine. The formaldehyde concentration in the air lower than MAC for work (0.5 mg .times. m3) did not increase formate excretion in the urine collected from the exposed group in the second half of the shift. A statistically significant increase of formate concentration to the value 0.047 mmol .times. mmol-1 creatinine was found in 16 persons exposed to formaldehyde concentrations above MAC (0.865 mg .times. m-3 on average). After the exposure to the mean concentration of formaldehyde 0.526 mg .times. m-3 the concentrations of formate in the morning urine in the day after exposure were significantly higher that in the urine from the second half of the shift (0.042 against 0.034 mmol .times. mmol-1 creatinine). The formate exposure test indicates whenever the MAC for formaldehyde in the working atmosphere is exceeded.