A purge-and-trap method for biological monitoring of styrene in urine was developed. Sorbent tubes packed with Tenax TA were used to trap styrene vapour purged from urine. Thermal desorption-gas chromatography was used for sorbent tubes analysis. The detection limit (0.70 μg/l), linearity range, recovery (>94% for spiked urine samples) and repeatability for urine from occupational exposed workers show the suitability of the method for the determination of styrene in urine. One specific advantage of this method is the possibility of storage of the charged sorbent tubes during long periods of time without a significant loss of styrene. This approach can be used, with slight modifications, for urinary determination of several others organic contaminants commonly present in occupational exposures.
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