Air and ground crews transfer a significant amount of jet fuel, and as a result of transfers, breathe its volatile emission from residues. Working on the flight line also exposes maintainers to exhaust from the jet fuel as engines are tested or run before and after flight. Since little is known concerning level of exposure and the corresponding biological response associated with human jet fuel exposure, nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR)-based metabolomics analysis of human urine was utilized for characterization of metabolite profiles of flight line personnel for potential biomarker discovery. This project was a collaborative research effort between the US Air Force (USAF) and the Japan Air Self-Defense Force(JASDF) to correlate flight line exposure to jet fuel volatile organic compounds (VOC)/exhaust with NMR-derived urinary metabolite profiles obtained from USAF personnel (JP-8 fueled aircraft) and Japanese personnel (JP-4 fueled aircraft) working F-15 and C-130 flight lines. Urine was collected from volunteers at USAF and JASDF air bases located in Japan preshift, postshift and the following morning. Metabolomics data suggested that urinary metabolite profiling may be a useful tool for monitoring flight line personnel exposures to hazardous chemicals.Incorporating select metadata (i.e. total VOC exposure, time on flight line, etc.) influenced NMR spectra to enhance the discriminatory power andaccuracy of the metabolomics data analysis. Additional work is still required to identify key metabolites that are predictive of exposure to jet fuels or combustion products.
DelRaso, N. J.,
Mitchell, S. W.,
Raymer, M. L.,
& Reo, N. V.
(2014). Metabolomics Characterization of U.S. and Japanese F-15 and C-130 Flight Line Crews Exposed to Jet Fuel Volatile Organic Compounds and Aerosols. .