Analytical strategies with chromatography and mass spectrometry for biomonitoring of benzene exposure by determination of urinary S-phenylmercaturic acid

Eline Simões Gonçalves Renato Marçullo Borges Leandro Vargas Barreto de Carvalho Sérgio Rabello Alves Leiliane Coelho André Josino Costa Moreira About the authors



benzene is a substance of recognized toxicity and its biomonitoring of exposure becomes critical for preventing health damages, especially in occupational exposure situations. Among all the biomarkers of exposure, S-phenylmercapturic acid is considered the only specific one, but due to its low concentrations in urine, acute analytical techniques capable of quantifying traces must be used.


to review methodologies based on chromatography and mass spectrometry for determination of S-phenylmercapturic acid.


literature review on the determination of urinary S-phenylmercapturic acid by chromatographic techniques and mass spectrometry in the main scientific databases, considering the period between 1951 and 2015.


120 documents served as theoretical basis for the construction of this review. The analytical technique that was most applied was the coupling of liquid chromatography with mass spectrometry. However, the methods differ according to the preparation of samples.


the high cost of equipment acquisition and maintenance are limiting factors for the diffusion of chromatography systems and mass spectrometry. Nevertheless, its high sensitivity and selectivity enable these coupled techniques to elucidate situations of occupational and environmental exposure to pollutants, such as benzene.

benzene; S-phenylmercapturic acid urinary; trans-trans-muconic acid; chromatography and mass spectrometry

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