Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry determination of ethylenethiourea hemoglobin adducts: a possible indicator of exposure to ethylene bis dithiocarbamate pesticides

Roberta Pastorelli, Riccardo Allevi, Stefano Romagnano, Giovanna Meli, Roberto Fanelli, Luisa Airoldi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Ethylene bisdithiocarbamates (EBDC) are an important class of fungicides used to control crop diseases and prevent mold. Ethylenethiourea (ETU), reported to be their main degradation and metabolic product in animals and man, may have teratogenic and carcinogenic properties. The feasibility of monitoring exposure to ETU on the basis of the formation of adducts to hemoglobin (Hb) was investigated. Rats given a single oral dose of ETU (from 62.5 to 500 mg/kg body wt) formed stable covalent ETU-Hb adducts. Mild acid hydrolysis of the protein regenerated ETU, allowing its detection by isotope dilution gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). The amount of released ETU increased with the dose. The dose-response curve fitted a linear model only between 62.5 mg/kg and 250 mg/kg. Acid-releasable ETU was also positively identified in the hemoglobin of workers exposed to Mancozeb, an EBDC formulation. In the exposed group, 40% had ETU-Hb adducts levels ranging from 0.5 to 1.42 pmol ETU/mg Hb. Such adducts might be useful for measuring EBDC exposure in humans.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)306-311
Number of pages6
JournalArchives of Toxicology
Volume69
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1995

Keywords

  • Adducts
  • Dosimetry
  • Ethylene bisdithiocarbamate fungicides
  • Ethylenethiourea
  • Hemoglobin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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