N-Acetyl-S-(n-Propyl)-L-Cysteine in Urine from Workers Exposed to 1-Bromopropane in Foam Cushion Spray Adhesives
K. W Hanley,
M. R Petersen,
K. L Cheever
1-Bromopropane (1-BP) has been marketed as an alternative for ozone depleting and other solvents; it is used in aerosol products, adhesives, metal, precision, and electronics cleaning solvents. Mechanisms of toxicity of 1-BP are not fully understood, but it may be a neurological and reproductive toxicant. Sparse exposure information prompted this study using 1-BP air sampling and urinary metabolites. Mercapturic acid conjugates are excreted in urine from 1-BP metabolism involving debromination. Research objectives were to evaluate the utility of urinary N-acetyl-S-(n-propyl)-L-cysteine (AcPrCys) for assessing exposure to 1-BP and compare it to urinary bromide [Br(–)] previously reported for these workers. Forty-eight-hour urine specimens were obtained from 30 workers at two factories where 1-BP spray adhesives were used to construct polyurethane foam seat cushions. Urine specimens were also obtained from 21 unexposed control subjects. All the workers' urine was collected into composite samples representing three time intervals: at work, after work but before bedtime, and upon awakening. Time-weighted average (TWA) geometric mean breathing zone concentrations were 92.4 and 10.5 p.p.m. for spraying and non-spraying jobs, respectively. Urinary AcPrCys showed the same trend as TWA exposures to 1-BP: higher levels were observed for sprayers. Associations of AcPrCys concentrations, adjusted for creatinine, with 1-BP TWA exposure were statistically significant for both sprayers (P < 0.05) and non-sprayers (P < 0.01). Spearman correlation coefficients for AcPrCys and Br(–) analyses determined from the same urine specimens were highly correlated (P < 0.0001). This study confirms that urinary AcPrCys is an important 1-BP metabolite and an effective biomarker for highly exposed foam cushion workers.