Thyroid function in Danish greenhouse workers

Gunnar Toft, Allan Flyvbjerg, Jens Peter Bonde

33 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: From animal studies it is known that currently used pesticides can disturb thyroid function.

METHODS: In the present study we investigated the thyroid function in 122 Danish greenhouse workers, to evaluate if greenhouse workers classified as highly exposed to pesticides experiences altered thyroid levels compared to greenhouse workers with lower exposure. Serum samples from the greenhouse workers were sampled both in the spring and the fall to evaluate if differences in pesticide use between seasons resulted in altered thyroid hormone levels.

RESULTS: We found a moderate reduction of free thyroxine (FT4) (10-16%) among the persons working in greenhouses with a high spraying load both in samples collected in the spring and the fall, but none of the other measured thyroid hormones differed significantly between exposure groups in the cross-sectional comparisons. However, in longitudinal analysis of the individual thyroid hormone level between the spring and the fall, more pronounced differences where found with on average 32% higher thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) level in the spring compared to the fall and at the same time a 5-9% lower total triiodthyroxin (TT3), free triiodthyroxine (FT3) and FT4. The difference between seasons was not consistently more pronounced in the group classified as high exposure compared to the low exposure groups.

CONCLUSION: The present study indicates that pesticide exposure among Danish greenhouse workers results in only minor disturbances of thyroid hormone levels.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEnvironmental Health: A Global Access Science Source
Pages (from-to)32
Publication statusPublished - 6 Dec 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Agriculture
  • Denmark
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Occupational Exposure
  • Pesticides
  • Seasons
  • Thyroid Diseases
  • Thyroid Hormones
  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't


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