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Diss Factsheets

Toxicological information

Exposure related observations in humans: other data

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Administrative data

exposure-related observations in humans: other data
Type of information:
experimental study
Adequacy of study:
key study
1 (reliable without restriction)
Rationale for reliability incl. deficiencies:
other: Meets generally accepted scientific standards and is described in sufficient detail.

Data source

Reference Type:
Urinary methanol and formic acid as indicators of|occupational exposure to methyl formate.
Berode M, Sethre T, Laubli T and Savolainen H
Bibliographic source:
nt Arch Occup Environ Health 73(6), 410-414.

Materials and methods

Type of study / information:
Type of experience: other: Biomonitoring and background levels
GLP compliance:
not specified

Test material

Constituent 1
Chemical structure
Reference substance name:
Methyl formate
EC Number:
EC Name:
Methyl formate
Cas Number:
Molecular formula:
methyl formate

Results and discussion

Any other information on results incl. tables

The volunteers exposed to 100 ppm MF vapour at rest for 8 h
excreted 3.62 +/- 1.13 mg MeOH/l (mean +/- SD) at the end of
the exposure. This was statistically different (P < 0.001)
from pre-exposure MeOH excretion (2.15 +/- 0.80 mg/1), or
from that of controls (1.69 +/- 0.48 mg/l). 

In foundrymen, the urinary FA excretion after the 8 h
workshift exposure to a time weighted average (TWA)
concentration of 2 to 156 ppm MF showed a dose-dependent
increase best modelled by a polynomial function. The highest
urinary FA concentration was 129 mg/g creatinine. The
pre-shift urinary FA of the foundrymen (18.3 +/- 5.6 mg/g
creatinine) did not differ from that of controls (13.8 +/-
7.9 mg/g creatinine). The urinary MeOH excretion of the
foundrymen after the shift, varied from < 1 to 15.4 mg/l,
while the correlation with the preceding MF exposure was
poor. The foundrymen excreted more (P = 0.01) FA (2.12 +/-
3.56 mg/g creatinine) after the workshift than
experimentally, once-exposed volunteers (0.32 +/- 0.11 mg/g
creatinine) at a similar inhaled MF level of 1 ppm).

Applicant's summary and conclusion

Executive summary:

The urinary FA excretion was 32.2 +/- 11.3 mg/g creatinine after the exposure, which was statistically different (P < 0.001) from
pre-exposure excretion (18.0 +/- 9.3 mg/g creatinine) or that of controls (13.8 +/- 7.9 mg/g creatinine). 

The authors concluded that, in spite of its high background level in non-exposed subjects, urinary FA seems to be a useful biomarker

of methyl formate exposure. There remain questions regarding the reason for the differences in chronic and acute exposure, respectively.