[Occupational exposure to fungicides in floriculture in Ecuador]

G Ital Med Lav Ergon. 2003 Jul-Sep;25 Suppl(3):107-8.
[Article in Italian]


Floriculture represents one of the major sources of income in the Ecuadorian Andean Region that can be carried out either in open fields as in greenhouses by using chemical compounds, growing hormones and xenobiotics. Among pesticides, ethylenbisdithiocarbamate (EBDTCs) fungicides represent the most extensively used. The aim of the study was the assessment of exposure to EBDTCs in Ecuadorian floricultural workers by the determination of the urinary excretion of the main metabolite of these compounds, ethylenethiourea (ETU). For this purpose, thirty-six floriculture workers and 7 unexposed healthy subjects were recruited for the study. Median level of ETU excretion in agricultural workers before the work shift was 3.2 micrograms/g creatinine, ranging from 0.4 to 34.5 micrograms/g creatinine. After pesticide application, urinary ETU increased to 6.2 micrograms/g creatinine (1.5-26.5) microgram/g creatinine. Urinary ETU resulted significantly higher in overall workers, taken as pre- and post-shift samples, when compared to controls (0.7, 0.4-2.1 micrograms/g creatinine, p < 0.01). According to jobs, applicators showed the highest levels of ETU excretion whereas growing, post-harvesting and maintenance workers showed similar levels of exposure. Higher level ETU excretion was observed in greenhouse compared to open field workers.

Publication types

  • English Abstract

MeSH terms

  • Agriculture*
  • Antifungal Agents / toxicity*
  • Ecuador
  • Ethylenebis(dithiocarbamates) / toxicity*
  • Ethylenethiourea / analysis
  • Humans
  • Occupational Exposure / adverse effects*


  • Antifungal Agents
  • Ethylenebis(dithiocarbamates)
  • Ethylenethiourea