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Effect of urban traffic, individual habits, and genetic polymorphisms on background urinary 1-hydroxypyrene excretion.PURPOSE: Potential sources of exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and genetic polymorphisms were investigated in relation to their contribution to interindividual variation in baseline levels of urinary 1-hydroxypyrene (1-OHP) excretion in subjects without occupational exposure to PAHs. METHODS: Urinary excretion of 1-OHP was measured in 114 subjects, including 48 women and 66 men. Questionnaire information was collected on possible environmental and individual sources of PAH exposure. A subset of 70 individuals also was evaluated for a single-nucleotide polymorphism (Ex7+295C-->T) in the cytochrome P-450 1A2 (CYP1A2) gene, and 61 of these also were evaluated for the glutathione transferase T1 (GSTT1) gene polymorphism. RESULTS: 1-OHP values did not show a significant seasonal variability and were unaffected by age; education; body mass index; smoking status, including passive smoking; or the C-->T base substitution in position 295 of exon 7 of the CYP1A2 gene. After reciprocal adjustment with logistic regression, living in a heavily trafficked urban area (odds ratio, 4.9; 95% confidence interval, 1.0-24.9), and frequent intake of grilled meat (odds ratio, 6.9; 95% confidence interval, 1.1-43.5) were significant predictors of background urinary 1-OHP levels of 0.50 microg/g creatinine or greater. Elevated risks also were associated with daily alcohol intake greater than 65 g and the nonnull GSTT1 genotype. CONCLUSION: Our study shows that exposure to urban traffic, dietary habits, and the nonnull GSTT1 genotype may contribute to interindividual variation in background levels of 1-OHP urinary excretion in subjects without occupational exposure to PAHs.