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Identification of cis- and trans-verbenol in human urine after occupational exposure to terpenes

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Urine from sawmill workers exposed to α-pinene, β-pinene and Δ-3-carene was collected and hydrolyzed with β-glucuronidase at pH 5.0 for 24h at 37°C. After hydrolysis the urine was cleaned on a SEP-PAK C18 cartridge. The cartridge was eluted with n-heptane. The eluate was injected onto a gas chromatograph equipped with a 25-m (0.32-mm ID) SP-1000 capillary column. The major peak in the chromatogram was identified by GC-MS as trans-verbenol by electron impact at 70 eV. cis-Verbenol was also identified. These metabolites could not be detected in non-hydrolyzed urine from the exposed workers or in hydrolyzed urine from an unexposed individual. The recoveries of the verbenols from hydrolyzed urine were in the range of 85 to 94% and the metabolites were stable both in urine and in n-heptane after sample cleaning at −20°C for at least 12 weeks. We suggest that these metabolites are formed from α-pinene by hydroxylation.

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Correspondence to Kåre Eriksson.

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Eriksson, K., Levin, J. Identification of cis- and trans-verbenol in human urine after occupational exposure to terpenes. Int. Arch Occup Environ Heath 62, 379–383 (1990). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00381368

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Key words

  • Terpene
  • Terpenol
  • trans-Verbenol
  • cis-Verbenol
  • Metabolites