Occupational chronic exposure to organic solvents XII. O-cresol excretion after toluene exposure

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Thirty-five printing workers were investigated according to their external and internal exposure to toluene. The concentration of toluene in the air of the working place was determined using stationary air sampling and gas chromatography. To determine the levels of toluene in blood as well as the concentrations of o-cresol, hippuric acid, and phenol in urine, biological specimens were collected at the end of exposure. The parameters were determined by gas chromatography and gas chromatography/mass spectrometry. According to our results, o-cresol concentrations higher than 5.3 mg per litre of post-shift urine might indicate an external exposure higher than the present MAK-value of 200 ppm.