Section 9
Chapter 8,233

Biomonitoring of technical grade 1-alkoxy-2-propanol acetates by analysing urinary 2-alkoxypropionic acids

Laitinen, J.

Science of the Total Environment 199(1-2): 31-39


ISSN/ISBN: 0048-9697
PMID: 9200845
DOI: 10.1016/s0048-9697(97)05479-x
Accession: 008232507

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Today commercially available 1-alkoxy-2-propanol acetates contain a harmful isomer 2-alkoxy-1-propanol acetates, which makes up less than 20% of the commercial product. This harmful isomer provides a means with which to study the toxicity and exposure to alkoxypropanols. Assessing exposure to technical grade 1-alkoxy-2-propanol acetates through the biological monitoring of urinary 2-alkoxypropionic acids has been found to be the most accurate method. The method developed in this study provides a procedure for the simultaneous urinalysis of methoxyacetic acid (MAA), ethoxyacetic acid (EAA), butoxyacetic acid (BAA), oxalic acid (OA), 2-methoxypropionic acid (2-MPA) and 2-ethoxypropionic acid (2-EPA). This possibility is very valuable in workplaces where workers are exposed simultaneously to different glycol ethers. This study was conducted among 54 silkscreen printers, who gave a urine sample to be analysed using a capillary gas chromatograph for 2-MPA and 2-EPA. The mean urinary concentrations of 2-MPA and 2-EPA were 1.27 (S.D. - 1.60) mmol/mol creatinine (median - 0.53, n - 26) and 1.23 (S.D. - 2.31) mmol/mol creatinine (median - 0.26, n - 39), respectively. The urinary excretion of 2-MPA and 2-EPA immediately after shift was linearly dependent on the preceding technical grade 1-methoxy-2-propanol acetate (y = 0.16x + 0.26, n = 26, R-2 = 0.78) and technical grade 1-ethoxy-2-propanol acetate (y = 2.05x - 0.09, n = 39, R-2 = 0.68) respective exposure, as measured in the workers' breathing zone. According to the results of this study it is possible to monitor exposure to the technical grade 1-methoxy-2-propanol acetate and technical grade 1-ethoxy-2-propanol acetate through urinalysis of 2-MPA and 2-EPA.

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