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University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill

Superfund Research Program

Quantification and Assessment of Dermal Exposure to Benzene and Napthalene Using a Noninvasive Sampling of Skin

Project Leader: Leena A. Nylander-French
Grant Number: P42ES005948
Funding Period: 2000 - 2011

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Project Summary (2000-2006)

This project's goal is to test the hypothesis that very low levels of dermal exposure to benzene and naphthalene can be directly detected using samples of the keratinized epidermis removed by tape stripping. Researchers are developing a non-invasive tape-stripping technique coupled with analytical chemistry methods to measure dermal exposure to benzene and naphthalene in two selected populations of workers. The relationship between dermal exposure and systemic exposure to benzene and naphthalene is also being investigated in these exposed populations. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) methods are being used for quantification of protein adducts as biomarkers for low level chronic exposures and for correlation of dermal and systemic exposure. These studies are improving knowledge of the significance of dermal exposure to benzene and the internal dose received to both the skin and internal tissues after such exposure. In addition, the potential health effects (allergic contact dermatitis, cancer, etc.) that may result due to dermal exposure are being examined and correlated to exposures. Ultimately, the procedures and methods developed in this study may be used as a model non-invasive skin-sampling procedure that reliably and reproducibly determines dermal exposure to environmental toxicants.

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