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Terbuthylazine (TBA) is a herbicide widely used for weed control in corn crop. In mammals it is completely metabolized and excreted in urine, mostly as desetilterbutilazina (DET). This work aims to evaluate the use of urine and hair as matrices for monitoring short- and medium-term exposure to TBA. Levels of TBA and DET have been evaluated in hair and urine samples of 12 exposed farmers, 14 rural residents, 17 urban residents. In hair TBA was quantified in all samples of farmers and rural residents, but not of urban residents. In urine DET was detected in post-application samples of farmers but not in rural and urban residents. These results suggest that TBA in hair can be used as an index of cumulative exposure to TBA, while DET in the urine can be used as an index of short-term exposure in farmers.


R Mercadante, E Polledri, S Fustinoni, P A Bertazzi. Identification of biomarkers of short- and medium-term exposure in urine and hair of subjects exposed to terbuthylazine]. Giornale italiano di medicina del lavoro ed ergonomia. 2012 Jul-Sep;34(3 Suppl):418-9

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PMID: 23405677

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