Penconazole is a widely used fungicide in the UK; however, to date, there have been no peer-reviewed publications reporting human metabolism, excretion or biological monitoring data. The objectives of this study were to i) develop a robust analytical method, ii) determine biomarker levels in volunteers exposed to penconazole, and, finally, to iii) measure the metabolites in samples collected as part of a large investigation of rural residents’ exposure. An LC-MS/MS method was developed for penconazole and two oxidative metabolites. Three volunteers received a single oral dose of 0.03 mg/kg body weight and timed urine samples were collected and analysed. The volunteer study demonstrated that both penconazole-OH and penconazole-COOH are excreted in humans following an oral dose and are viable biomarkers. Excretion is rapid with a half-life of less than four hours. Mean recovery of the administered dose was 47% (range 33%–54%) in urine treated with glucuronidase to hydrolyse any conjugates. The results from the residents’ study showed that levels of penconazole-COOH in this population were low with >80% below the limit of detection. Future sampling strategies that include both end of exposure and next day urine samples, as well as contextual data about the route and time of exposure, are recommended.
- biological monitoring