A cross-sectional survey based on blood VOCs, hematological parameters and urine indicators in a population in Jilin, Northeast China

  • Xiaocui Li
  • Yuanyuan Guo
  • Xiuling Song
  • Yinghua He
  • Huiwen Zhang
  • Hao Bao
  • Xinxin Li
  • Yushen Liu
  • Yue Zhai
  • Juan Wang
  • Kun XuEmail author
  • Juan LiEmail author
Original Paper


The objective of this study was to examine whether long-term exposure to low-dose volatile organic compounds (VOCs) will have an effect on the health of non-occupational population. A total of 499 non-occupational participants aged more than 18 that live around Jilin Petrochemical Industrial Zone were chosen by stratified cluster random sampling. Their blood VOCs’ levels, hematological parameters and urine indicators together with detailed questionnaire data were used to find possible relationships using binary logistic regression analysis. The detection rate of benzene in the blood was high in the non-occupational population around the industrial area, and it even reached 82.3% in males but no significant difference was recorded between male and female population. In addition, trichloroethane (male: 33.2% V female: 21.7%; p = 0.002), carbon tetrachloride (males: 20.3% V females: 7.5%; p < 0.001) and trichlorethylene (male: 34.9% V female: 24.7%; p = 0.004) all showed significant differences in gender, and without exception, the prevalence of males was higher in these three VOCs than of females. The changes in red blood cell (RBC), hematocrit (HCT) and basophils are correlated with carbon tetrachloride, trichloroethylene and chloroform, respectively. And RBC, HCT and basophils are statistically significant in male compared with female of the study population. The increase in trichlorethylene was associated with an increase of 1.723% (95% CI 1.058–2.806) in HCT. The increase in carbon tetrachloride showed a more significant correlation with an increase of 2.638% in RBC count (95% CI 1.169–5.953). And trichloromethane led to a 1.922% (95% CI 1.051–3.513) increase in basophils. The changes in urinary WBC, urine ketone (KET) and urinary bilirubin (BIL) showed significant correlation with benzene, carbon tetrachloride and dibromochloromethane, respectively. The correlation in females is more significant than in males. The increase of benzene in the female population increased urinary leukocyte count by 2.902% (95% CI 1.275–6.601). The effect of carbon tetrachloride on KET was particularly pronounced, resulting in an increase of 7.000% (95% CI 1.608–30.465). Simultaneously, an increase in dibromochloromethane caused an increase of 4.256% (95% CI 1.373–13.192) in BIL. The changes in RBC, HCT and basophils can only serve as an auxiliary indicator for disease diagnosis, so they have no significant clinical significance. However, the alteration of urinary WBC, KET and BIL has great clinical significances, and it is suggested that the monitoring of the above indicators from low-dose long-term exposure be strengthen in this area.


Monoaromatic hydrocarbons BTEX Halogenated hydrocarbons Hematological parameters Urine indicators 



Volatile organic compounds


Monoaromatic hydrocarbons (benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, p-xylene, o-xylene)


Body mass index


Global positioning system


Gas chromatography–mass spectrometry


White blood cell


Red blood cell
















Erythrocyte mean corpuscular volume


Mean corpuscular hemoglobin


Mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration


Red blood cell distribution width


Platelet distribution width


Mean platelet volume




Urine occult blood


Urine protein


Glucose in urine




Urine ketone


Urinary bilirubin



This study was funded by the National Institute of the Environment (Grant Number: 21111011101EHH(2015)4-04), the Development Foundation of Science and Technology in Jilin Province of China (Grant Number: 20160520167JH) and the Education Department of Jilin Province, China (Grant Number: JJKH20180239KJ). Xiaocui Li and Yuanyuan Guo contributed equally to this work.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

10653_2019_241_MOESM1_ESM.docx (55 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 54 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Xiaocui Li
    • 1
  • Yuanyuan Guo
    • 1
  • Xiuling Song
    • 1
  • Yinghua He
    • 2
  • Huiwen Zhang
    • 1
  • Hao Bao
    • 1
  • Xinxin Li
    • 1
  • Yushen Liu
    • 1
  • Yue Zhai
    • 1
  • Juan Wang
    • 1
  • Kun Xu
    • 1
    Email author
  • Juan Li
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.School of Public HealthJilin UinversityChangchunChina
  2. 2.Jilin Provincial Center for Disease Control and PreventionChangchunChina

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