August 9, 2021

Exposure assessment of Spanish lactating mothers to acrylamide via human biomonitoring

S F Hernandez et al, 2021. Exposure assessment of Spanish lactating mothers to acrylamide via human biomonitoring, Environmental Research, published online.


Acrylamide (AA) is an organic compound classified as “Probably carcinogenic to humans” (Group 2 A) that can be found principally in processed carbohydrate-rich foods and tobacco smoke. In humans, after exposure, AA is rapidly metabolized and excreted in urine, predominantly as N-acetyl-S-(2-carbamoylethyl)-l-cysteine (AAMA), N-acetyl-S-(2-carbamoyl-2-hydroxyethyl)-l-cysteine (GAMA3) and N-Acetyl-3-[(3-amino-3-oxopropyl)sulfinyl]-L-alanine (AAMA-Sul), which can be used as short-term biomarkers of exposure to AA. In this study, the presence of AA metabolites in urine samples of lactating mothers living in Spain (n = 114) was analyzed by “dilute and shoot” and liquid chromatography coupled to tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). All urinary metabolites were detected in 100% of the analyzed samples, with geometric means of 70, 33 and 15 ng ml-1, for AAMA, AAMA-Sul and GAMA3, respectively. The consumption of coffee, bread and precooked food products were found to be significant predictors of internal exposure to AA. An estimated daily intake (EDI) of AA based on its urinary metabolites was calculated, obtaining mean values between 1.2 and 1.9 μg AA·kg bw-1·day-1 in the target population. The risk assessment was evaluated using both reverse and forward dosimetry, showing an average margin of exposure (MOE) of 349 and a hazard quotient (HQ) of 5.5. Therefore, AA exposure should be considered a medium priority for risk assessment follow-up in the Spanish population, since a health concern with respect to non-neoplastic toxicity could not be discarded.

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