Benzene is a known human carcinogenic and a natural ingredient of crude oil and other petroleum products. The burning of biomass also results in a release of benzene. Epidemiological studies show evidence for a causal association between leukemia and exposure to benzene. Therefore, the objective of this study was to evaluate urinary benzene as biomarker of exposure to environmen- tal benzene. Urine samples were collected from 73 adult males resident in Tehran, Iran. The urinary level of benzene was analyzed using by head space solid phase micro extraction-gas chromatograph-mass spectrometry method (HS-SPME-GC-MS- method). Median value of U-BEN was 0.94μg/l (range from 0.2 to 2.9). The results of this study showed that urinary benzene is higher than values shown in prior studies. Thus, these high values may have undesirable health effects on the people resident in Tehran. Since urinary benzene behave in a similar way to blood benzene, urinary benzene due to the quick accessibility of urine and a non-invasive option is useful for environmental exposure and for epidemiology studies. As a result, the role of passive smoking and high traffic as the most important contributor to benzene exposure is very important.
Environmental exposure, Benzene, Urine, Biomarker.