Reference values for ethylenethiourea in urine in Northern Italy: Results of a pilot study

Claudio Colosio, Sara Visentin, Sarah Birindelli, Laura Campo, Silvia Fustinoni, Franco Mariani, Manuela Tiramani, Michele Tommasini, Gabri Brambilla, Marco Maroni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study was carried out to define reference values for urinary ethylenethiourea (ETU) in the Northern Italy population and to identify the sources of exposure. Ninety-five healthy subjects were selected. A spot urine sample was collected in the morning, and analyzed using GC/MS in the EI/SIM mode. Thirty-nine subjects showed urinary ETU concentrations lower than the limit of detection (LOD, 0.4 μg/g creatinine), and the remainders ETU concentrations ranging from 0.5 to 11.6 μg/g creatinine. No correlation was shown between smoke or alcohol intake and urinary ETU concentrations. Based on data on ethylene-bis-dithiocarbamate (EBDC) concentrations in food, we estimated a total EBDCs intake of 31.7-50.1 μg/day. These values are largely below the ADIs, but explain the presence of small amounts of ETU in the urine samples we have analyzed. Finally, it was estimated that the mean ETU in urine in the Italian general population is 0.6-0.8 μg/g creatinine, with a 95th percentile of 4.5-5.0 μg/g creatinine. These values can be used as reference, to compare the results of biological monitoring activities carried out on EBDCs occupationally and environmentally exposed populations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)153-157
Number of pages5
JournalToxicology Letters
Issue number2-3 SPEC. ISS.
Publication statusPublished - Apr 10 2006


  • Diet
  • Ethylene-bis-dithiocarbamates
  • Reference values
  • Urinary ethylenethiourea

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology


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