Our objective was to compare polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) exposure estimates based on survey, biological monitoring, and geographic information system (GIS) methods. The 304 participants in this study supplied a urine sample and completed questionnaires about exposure to potential PAH sources. We assayed urine samples for 1-hydroxypyrene-O-glucuronide (1-OHPG), the major metabolite of pyrene, a common PAH. We used a GIS to estimate traffic exhaust exposure using vehicle count data at the residence and workplace. The five subjects who reported smoking during the 48-hour period had median 1-OHPG concentrations 10-fold that of nonsmokers (1.6 versus 0.16 pmol/mL; P = 0.01). Among nonsmokers, those who reported eating grilled, roasted, or broiled meat had significantly higher 1-OHPG concentrations than those who did not reported eating meat prepared by these methods (0.25 versus 0.06 pmol/mL; P = 0.02). Nonsmokers who reported traveling on roads for ≥3 hours during the 48-hour period also had significantly higher 1-OHPG levels than those who traveled <3 hours (0.23 versus 0.11 pmol/mL; P = 0.03). 1-OHPG levels were also correlated with hours of secondhand smoke exposure among nonsmokers (P = 0.04). In this study, 1-OHPG urine concentrations were not associated with self-reported exposures to cooking smoke, wood burning, or traffic levels near the home or to traffic density or urban/rural status determined using a GIS. Self-reported indicators of residential proximity to high traffic volume were, however, associated with GIS traffic density measures.
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