Time trend of the exposure to geraniol in 24-h urine samples derived from the German Environmental Specimen Bank from 2004 to 2018

2021, Journals

Pluym, Nikola; Stöckelhuber, Markus; Weber, Till; Scherer, Gerhard; Scherer, Max; Kolossa-Gehring, Marike
International Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health 239 (2021), 113880; online 10 November 2021


Geraniol (trans-3,7-dimethyl-2,6-octadiene-1-ol) is an acyclic isoprenoid monoterpene with a widespread use as fragrance in consumer products, agrochemicals and pharmaceuticals. The class of terpene chemicals has been associated with varying sensitizing potencies. A recently developed sensitive LC- MS/MS method for the analysis of geraniol metabolites was further improved and validated for the two metabolites, 8-carboxygeraniol and Hildebrandt acid. The successfully validated method was applied to 250 urine samples derived from the Environmental Specimen Bank (ESB) collected between 2004 and 2018. Both metabolites of this allergen of special concern were quantified in all urine samples of this study. Correlation analysis revealed that 8-carboxygeraniol appears to be the sole specific biomarker in urine for geraniol exposure. Overall, the excreted amounts of 8-carboxygeraniol remained unchanged in urine samples collected from 2004 to 2018. However, a significantly higher 8-carboxygeraniol excretion per 24 h was observed in females compared to males across the sampling years from 2004 to 2012. This trend equalized in the years 2015 and 2018. We could demonstrate that 8-carboxygeraniol may be a suited biomarker for assessing the geraniol exposure in the general population. Regardless of the fact that additional, preferably population representative studies combining HBM and health examination were helpful to further elucidate the risks of a geraniol exposure, the current study adds important data for identifying time trends and body burden of geraniol in the environment and shows the ubiquitous exposure towards mixtures of sensitizing chemicals.

doi: 10.1016/j.ijheh.2021.113880