Aflatoxin Exposure In Air And Dust Of Pig Houses

Fungi (molds) produce a wide range of toxic chemicals called mycotoxins. Most mycotoxin research has dealt with exposure to mycotoxins in animal feeds and human foods. However, animals and humans can also be exposed to high levels of mycotoxins through exposure to air and dust from moldy environments. 
Susanna Viegas et al. Occupational exposure to aflatoxin B1 in swine production and possible contamination sources. J Toxicology Environmental Health 2013;76:944-51.

Liu Y, Wu F. Global burden of aflatoxin-induced hepatocellular carcinoma: A risk assessment. Environmental Health Perspectives. 2010;118:818-24.

Aflatoxins are often present in significant quantities in agricultural areas such as damp storage areas for grains and peanuts and inside animal feeding and confinement houses Aflatoxins are commonly produced by several Aspergillus species in poorly stored grains and peanuts. Aflatoxins are the most carcinogenic chemicals known. Foodborne aflatoxin exposure has been estimated to cause 25,200 to 155,000 worldwide annual human cases of liver cancer annually.
A Portuguese study measure fungal levels in 7 swine barns and aflatoxin levels in the blood of 28 swine house workers. High levels of 12 species of Aspergillus were detected in the 7 swine barns. Detectable blood levels (1 to 8.9 ng/ml) of aflatoxins were found in 21 of 28 (75%) of the swine workers. Aflatoxin levels were below detection limit (1 ng/ml) in all 30 unexposed control workers tested.


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