Levels of Ethylenethiourea (u-ETU) in a Population Living Near Vineyards

Francesca Sammartano, Luigi Castriotta, Ester Chermaz, Giovanni Moro, Sabina Bolzan, Martina Bortoletto, D’Anna A. Little, Giovanni Battista Bartolucci, Mariella Carrieri, Fabiola Salamon, Giulia Bravo, Sandro Cinquetti, Fabio Barbone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Dithiocarbamates (DTC) are the most commonly used synthetic fungicides in the Prosecco District (PD) of Treviso. The DTC biomarker is urinary ethylenethiourea (u-ETU). The aims of this biomonitoring study are to describe the level of u-ETU in residents in PD and to identify the factors associated with DTC exposure. In 2012 (baseline), we randomly extracted data for 126 children (3–5 years) and their families (260 adults), who were resident in 8 municipalities of PD and not occupationally exposed to DTC, from the local health database. For each subject, we obtained urine samples and socio-demographic, lifestyle and dietary information. In 2014 (after intervention), we evaluated the possible changes in u-ETU in 54 adults and 55 children at high risk of DTC exposure. The median baseline u-ETU was 0.35 µg/L. Approximately 5% of the samples had a u-ETU concentration > 5 µg/L. No u-ETU concentration exceeded 21 µg/L. Determinants of a higher u-ETU concentration were wine consumption (OR 2.04) and personal use of pesticides (OR 2.70) for adults; and living within 30 m from a vineyard (OR 9.51) and the pesticides use in the family (OR 6.25) for children. A significant u-ETU reduction in 49 adults and 25 children was observed from baseline to after intervention (p = 0.01). Wine consumption and production and DTC use in gardening influenced u-ETU concentrations in this population, although the levels were relatively low. The reduction in u-ETU from baseline to time after intervention probably reflects the effects of public health interventions.

Original languageEnglish
JournalExposure and Health
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2019


  • Biomonitoring
  • Dithiocarbamates
  • Exposure
  • General population
  • Risk factors
  • Urinary

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology
  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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