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Bulletin of the Korean Chemical Society (BKCS)

ISSN 0253-2964(Print)
ISSN 1229-5949(Online)
Volume 30, Number 9
BKCSDE 30(9)
September 20, 2009 

Rapid HPLC Method for the Simultaneous Determination of Eight Urinary Metabolites of Toluene, Xylene and Styrene
Cheol Woo Lee, Jeongmi Lee, Jaehyun Lee, Han Young Eom, Min Kyung Kim, Joon Hyuk Suh, Hyesun Yeom, Unyong Kim, Jeong Rok Youm, Sang Beom Han*
Urinary metabolites, HPLC-UV method, Monolithic column, β-Cyclodextrin, Flow rate gradient
Toluene, xylene and styrene are volatile organic solvents that are commonly used in mixtures in many industries. Because these solvents are metabolized and then excreted in urine, their urinary metabolites are thought to be biomarkers of occupational exposure to these solvents. Therefore, a simple, rapid, and yet reliable analytical method for determining the metabolites is required for accurate biological monitoring. In the present study, a simple and rapid HPLC-UV method was developed for the simultaneous determination of eight major metabolites of toluene, xylene and styrene: hippuric acid (HA), mandelic acid (MA), o-, m- and p-methylhippuric acids (o-, m- and p-MHAs), and o-, m- and p-cresols. A monolithic column was employed as the stationary phase and several conditions, including flow rate, composition of mobile phase and column temperature, were variables for the optimization of the chromatographic resolution. All eight metabolites were successfully resolved within 5 minutes in 10% aqueous ethanol containing 0.3% acetic acid and 1.6% β-cyclodextrin, using a flow rate gradient of 1.0 - 5.0 mL/min at 25 oC. The performance of this method was validated by linearity, intra- and inter-day accuracy, and precision. The linearity was observed with correlation coefficients of 0.9998 for HA, 0.9999 for MA, 0.9989 for o-MHA, 0.9998 for m-MHA, 0.9991 for p-MHA, 0.9997 for o-cresol, 0.9998 for m-cresol, and 0.9986 for p-cresol. The intra- and inter-day precision of the method were less than 5.89% (CV) and the accuracy ranged from 92.95 to 106.62%. The validity was further confirmed by analysis of reference samples that were prepared by the inter-laboratory quality assurance program of the Korea Occupational Safety and Health Agency (KOSHA, Seoul, Korea). All measured concentrations of the analytes agreed with the certified values.
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