IJERPH, Vol. 18, Pages 10236: Human Biomonitoring of Environmental and Occupational Exposures by GC-MS and Gas Sensor Systems: A Systematic Review
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health doi: 10.3390/ijerph181910236
Environmental chemicals and contaminants coming from multiple external sources enter the human body, determining a potential risk for human health. Human biomonitoring (HBM), measuring the concentrations of biomarkers in human specimens, has become an emerging approach for assessing population-wide exposure to hazardous chemicals and health risk through large-scale studies in many countries. However, systematic mapping of HBM studies, including their characteristics, targeted hazardous pollutants, analytical techniques, and sample population (general population and occupationally exposed workers), has not been done so far. We conducted a systematic review of the literature related to airborne hazardous pollutants in biofluids to answer the following questions: Which main chemicals have been included in the literature, which bodily fluids have been used, and what are the main findings? Following PRISMA protocol, we summarized the publications published up to 4 February 2021 of studies based on two methods: gas-chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) and electronic noses (e-noses). We screened 2606 records and 117 publications were included in the analysis, the most based on GC/MS analysis. The selected HBM studies include measurements of biomarkers in different bodily fluids, such as blood, urine, breast milk, and human semen as well as exhaled air. The papers cover numerous airborne hazardous pollutants that we grouped in chemical classes; a lot of hazardous and noxious compounds, mainly persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs), have been detected in biological fluids at alarming levels. The scenario that emerged from this survey demonstrates the importance of HBM in human exposure to hazardous pollutants and the need to use it as valid tool in health surveillance. This systematic review represents a starting point for researchers who focus on the world of pollutant biomonitoring in the human body and gives them important insights into how to improve the methods based on GC/MS. Moreover, it makes a first overview of the use of gas sensor array and e-noses in HBM studies.
Free full text: Read More