Ethylenebisdithiocarbamates are widely used as fungicides in agriculture. Although EBDC's have a low acute toxicity, they are suspected to have immune effects at low doses. However, little human studies on these effects have been published. In the Netherlands, a study was conducted among pesticide exposed workers aimed at evaluating the short-term and long-term immune effects of exposure and the relation between ethylenebisdithiocarbamate and immune effects. Forty-one re-entry workers and 40 nonexposed controls were medically examined; furthermore, immune parameters were determined in blood, and all participants filled in a questionnaire regarding exposure and outcome parameters. The level of ethylenethiourea in urine was determined as indicator of exposure. No relevant adverse immune effects were found in the pesticide exposed workers compared with the nonexposed controls. Also no exposure response relationship between immune effects and ethylenebisdithiocarbamate in urine was found. This finding might be due to very low exposure levels of the re-entry work but might also be due to a lack of immunotoxicity of ethylenebisdithiocarbamate at normal exposure levels.
- Immune effects
- Occupational exposure
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis