Asthmatic symptoms after exposure to ethylenebisdithiocarbamates and other pesticides in the Europit field studies

D. Boers, L. Van Amelsvoort, C. Colosio, E. Corsini, S. Fustinoni, L. Campo, C. Bosetti, C. La Vecchia, T. Vergieva, M. Tarkowski, J. Liesivuori, P. Steerenberg, H. Van Loveren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We conducted a multicenter prospective study to assess the effects of occupational exposure to ethylenebisdithiocarbamate fungicides and/or other pesticides on self-reported asthma and asthmatic symptoms. This multicenter study was conducted among 248 workers exposed to pesticides and 231 non-exposed workers from five field studies. The five field studies were carried out in The Netherlands, Italy, Finland, and two studies in Bulgaria. Subjects constituting this cohort completed a self-administered questionnaire at baseline (before the start of exposure). Ethylenethiourea in urine was determined to assess exposure to ethylenebisdithiocarbamates. In multivariate analyses adjusted for all potential confounders (age, education, residence, smoking, gender, and field study), we found inverse associations, all not statistically significant, between occupational exposure to pesticides and asthma diagnosis (OR 0.41; 95% CI 0.15-1.11), complains of chest tightness (OR 0.60; 95% CI 0.36-1.02), wheeze (OR 0.56; 95% CI 0.32-0.98), asthma attack (OR 0.52; 95% CI 0.12-2.25), and asthma medication (OR 0.79; 95% CI 0.25-2.53). Furthermore, we reported null associations for multivariate analysis using ethylenethiourea as determinant for exposure. Although exposure to pesticides remains a potential health risk, our results do not suggest an association between exposure to ethylenebisdithiocarbamates and/or other pesticides used in our study on asthma and asthmatic symptoms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)721-727
Number of pages7
JournalHuman and Experimental Toxicology
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2008


  • Asthma
  • Epidemiology
  • Ethylenebisdithiocarbamates
  • Multicenter study
  • Wheeze

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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