Comparison of 1-hydroxypyrene exposure in the US population with that in occupational exposure studies

Wenlin Huang, James Grainger, Donald G. Patterson, Wayman E. Turner, Samuel P. Caudill, Larry L. Needham, James L. Pirkle, Eric J. Sampson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Urine samples collected in 1999 and 2000 as part of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) were analyzed for 14 monohydroxy polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), and, for the first time, reference range values were calculated for these metabolites in the US population. Pyrene is a major component of most PAH mixtures and often is used as a surrogate for total PAH exposure. We detected 1-hydroxypyrene (1-OHpyrene), a metabolite of pyrene, in more than 99% of the samples. The overall geometric mean concentration for 1-OHpyrene in the USA was 79.8 ng/l, with a 95% confidence interval (CI) of 69.0-92.2 ng/l. The overall geometric mean creatinine-adjusted urinary 1-OHpyrene levels in the USA was 74.2 ng/g creatinine (0.039 μmol/mol), with a 95% CI of 64.1-85.9 ng/g creatinine (0.034-0.046 μmol/mol). There were no statistically significant differences among age, gender, or race/ethnicity groups. Adult smokers in the USA have urinary 1-OHpyrene levels three times higher than those of non-smokers. This difference was statistically significant. In this paper, we compare the reference range of urinary 1-OHpyrene levels with levels reported from various occupations by other researchers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)491-498
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health
Issue number7
StatePublished - Nov 2004

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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