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Blood concentrations of carbon disulphide in dithiocarbamate exposure and in the general population

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Blood carbon disulphide (CS2), both free and total, was determined by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry in 112 “normal” subjects and in 20 subjects employed in a dithiocarbamate factory, comprising ten blue-collar workers involved in dithiocarbamate production and ten white-collar office staff. The ten production workers were examined over two workshifts, the first at the beginning of the week (Monday) and the second after an intervening period of at least 1 day. Three blood samples were taken for each shift studied, one prior to starting work, one at the end of the shift and the third 16 h after the end of the shift (on the following morning). The mean CS2 blood levels measured in the 112 normal subjects was 663 ng/l for the free fraction and 3178 ng/l for the total. In 16 blood samples taken from the ten dithiocarbamate factory office workers, the mean free and total CS2 blood levels were 846 and 4140 ng/l, respectively, i.e. not significantly different from those observed in the normal subjects. At the end of the first 8-h shift, the ten dithiocarbamate factory production workers had free and total CS2 values of 1070 and 8471 ng/l, respectively, which were significantly higher than those observed prior to starting work (240 and 4738 ng/l). All the total CS2 levels measured in the shop-floor workers, with the sole exception of the values recorded prior to the start of the Monday shift (4738 ng/l), ranged from 7047 to 8471 ng/l and were significantly higher than those measured in the white-collar staff (4140 ng/l).

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Correspondence to F. Brugnone.

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Brugnone, F., Maranelli, G., Guglielmi, G. et al. Blood concentrations of carbon disulphide in dithiocarbamate exposure and in the general population. Int. Arch Occup Environ Heath 64, 503–507 (1993).

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Key words

  • Biological monitoring
  • Carbon disulphide
  • Dithiocarbamate
  • Gas chromatography
  • Mass spectrometry