Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 21, Issue 4, pp 2479–2485 | Cite as

Urinary concentrations of trichlorophenols in the Korean adult population: results of the National Human Biomonitoring Survey 2009

  • Kisok KimEmail author
  • Hyejin Park
  • Jin Heon Lee
Research Article


Trichlorophenols such as 2,4,5-trichlorophenol (2,4,5-TCP) and 2,4,6-trichlorophenol (2,4,6-TCP) are organochlorine compounds to which the general public can be exposed via contaminated food, water, and air. This study assessed exposure to 2,4,5-TCP and 2,4,6-TCP in Koreans age 18–69 years based on the Korean National Human Biomonitoring Survey conducted in 2009. Using data from 1,865 representative Koreans, we found that the geometric mean urinary concentrations of 2,4,5-TCP and 2,4,6-TCP were 83.4 pg/mL [95 % confidence interval (CI) = 78.6–88.6] and 0.39 ng/mL (95 % CI = 0.35–0.42), respectively. The creatinine-adjusted geometric mean 2,4,5-TCP and 2,4,6-TCP levels were 78.8 ng/g creatinine (95 % CI = 73.8–84.1) and 0.36 μg/g creatinine (95 % CI = 0.33–0.40), respectively. Of the Korean adult population, about 67.5 and 87.5 % had respective urine 2,4,5-TCP and 2,4,6-TCP concentrations >0.05 ng/mL (the limit of detection, LOD). Urine 2,4,5-TCP concentrations were significantly associated with age and place of residence, whereas urine 2,4,6-TCP concentrations were higher in rural residents. These findings suggest that most Koreans had detectable levels of 2,4,5-TCP and 2,4,6-TCP in their urine and that the body burden of 2,4,5-TCP and 2,4,6-TCP varied according to demographic and geographic factors.


2,4,5-TCP 2,4,6-TCP Biomonitoring Human urine Demographic characteristics 



This research was supported by the Settlement Research Grant of Keimyung University in 2012.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no competing financial interests.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PharmacyKeimyung UniversityDaeguRepublic of Korea
  2. 2.Department of International Medical ManagementCatholic University of DaeguKyungbukRepublic of Korea
  3. 3.Department of Environmental EducationKongju National UniversityChungnamRepublic of Korea

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