Journal of Korean Society for Indoor Environment (한국실내환경학회지), Vol.8(2) : 127~138, 2011
Journal of Korean Society for Indoor Environment (한국실내환경학회지)
Objectives : The purpose of this study is to identify the characteristics that affect the urinary phenol of
workers exposed to phenol.
Subjects and Methods : Total 41 workers were selected at bisphenol A manufacturing plant and their urinary
phenol concentration were measured before and after work along with the phenol concentration in the
workplace air, and carried out a survey on work characteristics and lifestyle factors that could affect urinary
Results : The phenol concentration in air during work hours was 0.91 (non-detection~2.88) mg/m3, and the
worker’s urinary phenol concentrations before and after work were 100.27±75.76 and 138.13±109. 58
mg/g creatinine, respectively, which showed a statistically significant increase. Comparing smoking and
urinary phenol concentration, smokers had 194.54±137.52 mg/g creatinine while non-smokers had
108.88±80.10 mg/g creatinine, thus showing the urinary phenol concentration of smokers to be statistically
significantly higher (p=0.046). The urinary phenol concentration increased as work hours, the frequency of
skin exposure to phenol, and the amount of drinking increased, and there were differences in its
concentration depending on the work type and whether or not workers wore protective gear.
The results of carrying out a multiple regression analysis showed that phenol concentration in air, work
hours, frequency of skin exposure, and smoking were statistically significant. In other words, the urinal
phenol concentration increased more for smokers than for non-smokers, when work hours became longer,
and when the frequency of skin exposure was over five times.
Conclusions : The factors that influenced urinary phenol in workers exposed to phenol were phenol
concentration in air, work hour, frequency of skin exposure, smoking, work and lifestyle habits. Accordingly,
biological monitoring for phenol exposure assessment must reflect these factors, and effort must be made
to reduce skin exposure at workplace.