Application Brief

Determination of Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) Metabolites in Urine by HPLC with UV Detection


Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are compounds that can evaporate at ambient temperatures. They are emitted from certain solids or liquids and are prevalent in the environment. VOCs are present in homes and workplaces, originating from many sources, including household and industrial products, office equipment, hobby supplies, tobacco smoke and vehicle exhaust. In the United States, the major non-occupational source of exposure to harmful VOCs is tobacco smoke which can occur through inhalation, ingestion, and dermal contact. Effects of long-term VOC exposure can include increased risk for leukemia, bladder cancer, birth defects, and neurocognitive impairment.

This study shows a rapid and simple liquid chromatographic method using a PerkinElmer LC 300 HPLC system with PDA detection for the analysis of six common VOC metabolites in urine for monitoring occupational exposure to VOCs, specifically styrene, toluene, xylene, and ethylbenzene. The method also includes creatinine, which is used to normalize the resulting urinary concentrations of the six metabolites.