N-methyl-2-pyrrolidone (NMP) and its substitute N-ethyl-2-pyrrolidone (NEP) are aprotic solvents used in many technical applications, but also in carpets, and consumer products such as cleaning agents, and cosmetics. NMP and NEP are classified as reproductive toxicants. As a substance of very high concern (SVHC), NMP is included in the European REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation of Chemicals) candidate listfor authorisation. NMP and NEP metabolites were measured in more than 2100 urine samples of 3- to 17-year-old children and adolescents, participating in the population-representative German Environmental Survey for Children and Adolescents 2014-2017 (GerESV). The two NMP metabolites 5-hydroxy-N-methyl-2-pyrrolidone (5-HNMP) and 2-hydroxy-N-methylsuccinimide (2-HMSI) could be detected and quantified in all urine samples, and the two NEP metabolites 5-hydroxy-N-ethylpyrrolidone (5-HNEP) and 2-hydroxy-N-ethylsuccinimide (2-HESI) in 32% and 87% of the urine samples. Geometric mean concentrations were 103.1 µg/L (88.21 µg/gcreatinine) for the sum of NMP metabolites and 11.86 µg/L (10.15 µg/gcreatinine) for the sum of NEP metabolites, thus remaining below the current health-based human biomonitoring values. For NMP, highest exposure was found in young children, but exposure pathways could not be revealed. Exposure to NEP was highest in adolescents and participants with low socio-economic status or migration background. Associations to usage of personal care products suggested the choice of products to have a distinct impact on NEP exposure. The presented data can be used by the German Human Biomonitoring Commission to derive new reference values (RV95) for NMP and NEP for children and adolescents in Germany. This will facilitate to recognise changing exposure levels in this population group in Germany.
Authors: Maria I H Schmied-Tobies, Aline Murawski, Enrico Rucic, Gerda Schwedler, Daniel Bury, Monika Kasper-Sonnenberg, Stephan Koslitz, Holger M Koch, Thomas Brüning, Marike Kolossa-Gehring
; Full Source: Environment international 2020 Oct 25;146:106221. doi: 10.1016/j.envint.2020.106221.