Trends and concentrations of selected polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in general US population: Data from NHANES 2003–2008
Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) are potentially mutagenic and carcinogenic, and as such their exposure is of serious concern. I aimed to study the trends in the levels of selected PAHs in US for the period 2003–2008 and their distribution by gender, race/ethnicity, socioeconomic and smoking status, and by exposure to second-hand smoke (SHS) at home and work. Using data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, regression models were fitted for 10 individual urinary PAH metabolites. Smoking was statistically significantly associated with higher levels of naphthalene, fluorene, phenanthrene, and pyrene metabolites when compared to non-smokers. SHS exposure at home was also statistically significantly associated with higher concentrations of naphthalene, fluorene, phenanthrene, and pyrene metabolites. There was a statistically significant increase in the concentrations of total naphthalene and fluorene, 2-hydroxynaphthalene, 2- and 9-hydroxyfluorene, 2- and 4-hydroxyphenanthrene, and 1-hydroxypyrene during the study period of 2003–2008. Females were found to have statistically significantly higher concentrations of total naphthalene and phenanthrene metabolites as well as 1- and 2-hydroxynaphthalene, 1-hydroxyphenanthrene, and 1-hydroxypyrene. For most of the PAH metabolites, non-Hispanic whites had the highest adjusted concentrations and Mexican Americans had the lowest adjusted concentrations. For the concentrations of 2-hydroxynaphthalene, however, the reverse was true.