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Review article

General Population Exposure to Volatile Aromatic Hydrocarbons

Irena Brčić

Full text: croatian pdf 448 Kb

page 291-300

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Aromatic hydrocarbons benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and isomeric xylenes (BTEX) are volatile organic compounds widespread in the biosphere because of their physical and chemical properties and their use. They are major constituents of gasoline, and vehicular traffic is the main source of BTEX in the environment. Significant additional exposure to BTEX results from tobacco smoking. General population is more or less permanently exposed to BTEX. This review summarises their distribution in the environment, analytical methods for BTEX determination in biological samples, and published data on BTEX concentrations in blood, exhaled air and urine samples of general population. The paper also describes toxic effects of BTEX on human health associated exclusively with professional exposure.Concentrations of these compounds in biological samples collected from general population reflect environmental pollution. Biological monitoring of people exposed to environmental BTEX concentrations is the first step toward evaluating health risk.


benzene, biological indicators, blood, ethylbenzene, exhaled air, isomeric xylenes, toluene, urine

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