Determination of exposure to benzene, toluene and xylenes in Turkish primary school children by analysis of breath and by environmental passive sampling

Scheepers P. T. J., Konings J., Demirel G., GAGA E. E., Anzion R., Peer P. G. M., ...More

SCIENCE OF THE TOTAL ENVIRONMENT, vol.408, no.20, pp.4863-4870, 2010 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 408 Issue: 20
  • Publication Date: 2010
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2010.06.037
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.4863-4870
  • Keywords: Volatile organic compounds, Biological monitoring, Children, End-exhaled air, Personal air sampling, Environmental exposure, Passive sampling, VOLATILE ORGANIC-COMPOUNDS, OCCUPATIONAL-EXPOSURE, EXHALED BREATH, N-HEXANE, AIR, SOLVENTS, INDOOR, BLOOD, ELIMINATION, POPULATION
  • Anadolu University Affiliated: Yes


Benzene, toluene, m/p-xylene and o-xylene (BTX) are toxic volatile organic compounds and ubiquitous air pollutants. Smoking and consumer products are indoor sources of BTX, whereas traffic and industrial activities are primary sources contributing to outdoor levels of BTX. The aim of this study was to characterize exposure of children to BTX by personal air sampling using diffusive samplers and by analysis of end-exhaled air. For this study, 101 children of 10-11 years of age were recruited from four primary schools in Southern Turkey during the warm season (May 2008). Two schools were situated in a residential area near primary and secondary iron and steel works (Payas) and two schools were located in a non-industrialized city (Iskenderun). The children and their parents were visited at home for an interview and to identify possible sources of BTX in the residence. Median concentrations of benzene determined by diffusive samplers were higher in Payas (4.1 mu g/m(3)) than in Iskenderun (2.7 mu g/m(3), p<0.001). For toluene, no differences were observed, whereas for xylene isomers air concentrations tended to be lower for children living in Payas. The median end-exhaled air concentrations were 8.2, 29, 3.8, and 5.7 pmol/L for benzene, toluene, m/p-xylene and o-xylene, respectively (Payas), and 6.9, 25, 4.9, and 6.0 pmol/L, respectively (Iskenderun). Concentrations of toluene in end-exhaled air were 50% higher in children living with household members who smoked indoors (p<0.05) and benzene in end-exhaled air was more than 3-fold higher for those children who were exposed to tobacco smoke inside a vehicle (p<0.001). End-exhaled concentrations of benzene were also higher in children living in a residence with an attached garage (p<0.05). These exposure modifying factors were not identified when using the results obtained with diffusive samplers. (C) 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.