Urinary levoglucosan as a biomarker for residential wood smoke exposure

Lakshmi Sankaranarayanan, Erin O. Semmens, Curtis W. Noonan, Tony J. Ward

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


As part of a randomised controlled residential intervention study, levoglucosan (LG) was investigated as a biomarker for wood smoke exposure. This study was conducted among 33 children living in homes that used wood stoves for residential heating. Indoor fine particulate matter (PM2.5) concentrations and corresponding urine samples from participants were collected during pre- and a post-intervention winter sampling periods. Interventions included the installation of an air filtration unit and a wood stove change out. Homes and children assigned to a placebo filter served as the control condition. Results showed a strong reduction in indoor PM2.5 among the air filter homes (≈58% reduction), whereas the wood stove change out homes did not have a significant PM2.5 reduction from pre- to post-intervention observations. Children living in the air filter homes did not show a corresponding reduction in urinary LG concentrations. Further analysis did not show an association between overall changes in indoor PM2.5 concentrations and changes in urinary LG concentrations. These findings suggest that urinary LG is not a reliable indicator of wood smoke exposure in residential wood heating settings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)137-147
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Analytical Chemistry
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 26 2016


  • Levoglucosan (LG)
  • PM
  • biomarker
  • biomass combustion
  • particulate matter (PM)
  • urine
  • wood smoke


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