Original article

Scand J Work Environ Health 1990;16(3):203-207    pdf

doi:10.5271/sjweh.1793

Ethylenethiourea in air and in urine as an indicator of exposure to ethylenebisdithiocarbamate fungicides.

by Kurttio P, Savolainen K

Ethylenethiourea (ETU) is a ubiquitous impurity of the ethylenebisdithiocarbamate (EBDC) fungicides widely used in agriculture and forestry. In the present study, ETU was used as a measure of the exposure to EBDC on potato farms and in pine nurseries during the application of EBDC fungicides and the weeding of the sprayed vegetation. Biological and hygienic monitoring was carried out through the analysis of ETU in the breathing zone and the urine of exposed workers. Even if the concentrations of ETU in the ambient air of pine nurseries exceeded those of potato farms, the concentrations of ETU in the urine of potato farmers exceeded those of pine nursery workers. This result may have been due better protective equipment in the pine nurseries. The excretion rate was 6-10 ng/h during the first 60 h after the cessation of exposure, and it diminished thereafter to 0.2 ng/h over a 22-d observation period.