Simultaneous determination of nicotine and PAH metabolites in human hair specimen: a potential methodology to assess tobacco smoke contribution in PAH exposure.
- Human Biomonitoring Research Unit
- Public Health Research
The present methodology was developed to simultaneously assess chronic exposure to PAHs and to tobacco from the analysis of one hair specimen per examined individual. The method is a two step extraction of twelve mono-hydroxy-PAHs and of nicotine, and their separate analysis by optimized methods using gas chromatography-negative chemical ionization-mass spectrometry. After method validation and assessment of the hair decontamination procedure, 105 hair specimens from smokers and non-smokers were analyzed. All the hair samples tested positive for nicotine. Median concentration was 10.7ng/mg for smokers and 0.5ng/mg for non-smokers. 70% of the samples tested positive for OH-PAHs. The most common one was 2-naphthol (61%) and its concentration was significantly higher in smokers than in non-smokers (median: 111 vs 70pmol/g, p=0.006). 2-OH-benzo(c)phenanthrene and 6-OH-chrysene were only detected once in a non-smoker's hair. The concentration of the sum of all PAH-metabolites ranged from 24 to 67190pmol/g (median: 118pmol/g). Only six samples tested positive for more than two different metabolites. The simultaneous detection of nicotine and OH-PAHs in hair is possible and provides reliable results. This represents a useful tool for the accurate biomonitoring of chronic exposure to PAH and correct identification of the sources of exposure.