|Fungi (molds) produce a wide variety of toxic chemicals called mycotoxins. Many of these mycotoxins are carcinogenic (cancer causing), including aflatoxins, sterigmatocystin, ochratoxin, fumonisins, zearalenone, and others. Some of the most potent carcinogenic compounds are the aflatoxin mycotoxins produced by some Aspergillus molds.|
Jia-Sheng Wang and John Groopman. DNA damage by mycotoxins. Mutation Research 1999; 424:167-81.
Worldwide, consumption of aflatoxin contaminated foods causes an estimated 25,200 to 155,000 liver cancer deaths annually. Aflatoxins are also associated with significantly elevated risk of lung cancer. Aflatoxins are frequent contaminants in many foods, especially on peanuts and grains. Storage of peanuts and grains in overly wet conditions can greatly increase levels of alfatoxin contamination. Aflatoxin contamination is a huge problem in China, India, and many African nations.