Military deployment human exposure assessment: Urine total and isotopic uranium sampling results

Major Lisa M. May*, Jack Heller, Victor Kalinsky, John Ejnik, Steve Cordero, Kristi J. Oberbroekling, Thuy T. Long, Kathryne C.E. Meakim, David Cruess, Arthur P. Lee

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Currently the Department of Defense (DoD) does not use exposure biomarkers to measure service members' exposure to environmental chemicals. Blood and urine exposure biomarkers for volatile organic compounds (VOC), selected heavy metals, depleted uranium (DU), and chemical warfare agents are currently available but have not been field tested or validated by the DoD in military deployments as a tool to document exposures. The Military Deployment Human Exposure Assessment Study, a prospective cohort of 46 soldiers deployed to Bosnia, was designed to field test blood and urine exposure biomarkers as a mechanism to document exposures to these chemicals during military deployments. Blood and urine were collected before, during, and after deployment. Standard questionnaire, environmental, and occupational monitoring data collection methods were conducted for comparison to the exposure biomarker results. This article compares and reports the pre-, during, and postdeployment urine total and isotopic uranium measurements and compares them to perceived exposures captured on questionnaire, to environmental data collected by the United Nations Environmental Program in Bosnia, and to standard U.S. urine uranium reference levels (CDC, 2003). Additionally, the questionnaire and environmental and occupational measurements are reported. The results of the study indicate that exposure biomarkers may be a valuable tool to the DoD in exposure and risk assessment with regard to environmental and occupational exposures to uranium.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)697-714
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Toxicology and Environmental Health - Part A
Issue number8-10
StatePublished - 23 Apr 2004
Externally publishedYes


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