Reference Values of Urinary Trans,trans-muconic Acid: Italian Multicentric Study

13 November 2019

Aprea, C., Sciarra, G., Bozzi, N., Pagliantini, M., Perico, A., Bavazzano, P., Leandri, A., Carrieri, M., Scapellato, M.L., Bettinelli, M., Bartolucci, G.B.

Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology, 2008, 55, 329–340

This article reports the results of a study, conducted in the framework of the scientific activities of the Italian Society for Reference Values, aimed at defining reference values of urinary trans,trans-muconic acid (t,t-MA) in the general population not occupationally exposed to benzene. t,t-MA concentrations detected in 376 subjects of the resident population in three areas of Italy, two in central (Florence and southern Tuscany) and one in northern Italy (Padua), by three laboratories, compared by repeated interlaboratory controls, showed an interval of 14.4–225.0 μg/L (5th–95th percentile) and a geometric mean of 52.5 μg/L. The concentrations measured were influenced by tobacco smoking in a statistically significant way: Geometric mean concentrations were 44.8 μg/L and 76.1 μg/Ll in nonsmokers (264 subjects) and smokers (112 subjects), respectively. In the nonsmoking population, a significant influence of gender was found when concentrations were corrected for urinary creatinine, geometric mean concentrations being 36.7 μg/g creatinine in males (128 subjects) and 44.7 μg/g creatinine in females (136 subjects). The place of residence of subjects did not seem to influence urinary excretion of the metabolite, although personal inhalation exposure to benzene over a 24-h period showed slightly higher concentrations in Padua and Florence (geometric means of 6.5 μg/m3 and 6.6 μg/m3, respectively) than in southern Tuscany (geometric mean of 3.9 μg/m3). Concentration of t,t-MA in urine samples collected at the end of personal air sampling showed little relationship to personal inhalation exposure to benzene, confirming the importance of other factors in determining excretion of t,t-MA when concentrations in personal air samples are very low.