The benzene metabolite, trans,trans-muconic acid (MA), has been shown to be a sensitive and specific biomarker for ambient benzene exposure levels as low as ~0.5 ppm. However, at lower exposure levels, the use of MA as a benzene biomarker is complicated by the fact that it is also a metabolite of the food preservative, sorbic acid. To better assess the extent of this interference, MA was measured in sequential spot urine samples over a 2-day study period from eight volunteers (four adults and two parent-children pairs) who consumed two sorbic acid-preserved foods. Large increases in MA concentration were seen after ingestion of both foods. Individual peaks ranged as high as 1673.7 ng/ml (705.3 ng/mg creatinine) in adults and 1752.1 ng/mg creatinine (1221.3 ng/ml) in children. Ratios of peak to baseline values varied from 2.5 to 60. The average peak in the seven subjects who showed an increase in MA after ingestion of the first sorbic acid-containing food was 531.1 ng/ml (693.2 ng/mg creatinine). The average in the seven participants who ingested the second food was 1102.1 ng/ml (795.3 ng/mg creatinine). Twenty-four-hour personal air benzene levels were all low (≤ 5.6 ppb). Substantial variation in MA results were seen in some males related to creatinine adjustment. These data indicate that sorbic acid-preserved foods have the potential to cause substantial interference with MA as a biomarker for both occupational and environmental benzene exposure in populations, such as in the United States, where consumption of preserved foods is common. Development of methods to minimize and/or assess sorbic acid interference will improve MA specificity in such populations.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention|
|State||Published - Jul 2000|
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