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Your Environment. Your Health.

Publication Detail

Title: Integrating Exposure Knowledge and Serum Suspect Screening as a New Approach to Biomonitoring: An Application in Firefighters and Office Workers.

Authors: Grashow, Rachel; Bessonneau, Vincent; Gerona, Roy R; Wang, Aolin; Trowbridge, Jessica; Lin, Thomas; Buren, Heather; Rudel, Ruthann A; Morello-Frosch, Rachel

Published In Environ Sci Technol, (2020 04 07)

Abstract: Firefighters (FF) are exposed to recognized and probable carcinogens, yet there are few studies of chemical exposures and associated health concerns in women FFs, such as breast cancer. Biomonitoring often requires a priori selection of compounds to be measured, and so, it may not detect relevant, lesser known, exposures. The Women FFs Biomonitoring Collaborative (WFBC) created a biological sample archive and conducted a general suspect screen (GSS) to address this data gap. Using liquid chromatography-quadrupole time-of-flight tandem mass spectrometry, we sought to identify candidate chemicals of interest in serum samples from 83 women FFs and 79 women office workers (OW) in San Francisco. We identified chemical peaks by matching accurate mass from serum samples against a custom chemical database of 722 slightly polar phenolic and acidic compounds, including many of relevance to firefighting or breast cancer etiology. We then selected tentatively identified chemicals for confirmation based on the following criteria: (1) detection frequency or peak area differences between OW and FF; (2) evidence of mammary carcinogenicity, estrogenicity, or genotoxicity; and (3) not currently measured in large biomonitoring studies. We detected 620 chemicals that matched 300 molecular formulas in the WFBC database, including phthalate metabolites, phosphate flame-retardant metabolites, phenols, pesticides, nitro and nitroso compounds, and per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances. Of the 20 suspect chemicals selected for validation, 8 were confirmed-including two alkylphenols, ethyl paraben, BPF, PFOSAA, benzophenone-3, benzyl p-hydroxybenzoate, and triphenyl phosphate-by running a matrix spike of the reference standards and using m/z, retention time, and the confirmation of at least two fragment ions as criteria for matching. GSS provides a powerful high-throughput approach to identify and prioritize novel chemicals for biomonitoring and health studies.

PubMed ID: 31971370 Exiting the NIEHS site

MeSH Terms: Biological Monitoring; Chromatography, Liquid; Environmental Monitoring; Female; Firefighters*; Humans; San Francisco; Serum

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