Assessment of penconazole exposure in winegrowers using urinary biomarkers

Rosa Mercadante, Elisa Polledri, Federico Maria Rubino, Stefan Mandic-Rajcevic, Andrea Vaiani, Claudio Colosio, Angelo Moretto, Silvia Fustinoni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Penconazole (PEN) is a fungicide used in agriculture. The aim of this work was to evaluate the exposure to PEN in vineyard workers focusing on urinary biomarkers. Twenty-two agricultural workers were involved in the study; they were investigated during PEN applications and re-entry work, performed for 1–4 consecutive working days, for a total of 42 mixing and applications and 12 re-entries. Potential and actual dermal exposure, including hand exposure, were measured using pads and hand washes. Urine samples were collected starting before the first application, continuing during the work shift, and ending 48 h after the last shift. The determination of PEN in dermal samples and PEN metabolites in urine was performed by liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry. Dermal potential body exposure and actual total exposure showed median levels ranging from 18 to 3356 µg and from 21 to 111 µg, respectively. Urinary monohydroxyl-derivative PEN-OH was the most abundant metabolite; its excretion rate peaked within 24 h after the work shift. In this period, median concentrations of PEN-OH and the carboxyl-derivative PEN-COOH ranged from 15.6 to 27.6 µg/L and from 2.5 to 10.2 µg/L, respectively. The concentration of PEN-OH during the work shift, in the 24 h after and in the 25–48 h after the work shift were correlated with actual body and total dermal exposure (Pearson's r from 0.279 to 0.562). Our results suggest that PEN-OH in the 24 h post-exposure urine is a promising candidate for biomonitoring PEN exposure in agricultural workers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)54-61
Number of pages8
JournalEnvironmental Research
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2019


  • Biomonitoring
  • Dermal exposure
  • Pesticides
  • Urinary penconazole metabolites
  • Vineyard workers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Environmental Science(all)


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