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Measurements of airborne aflatoxins during the handling of 1979 contaminated corn.
Burg WR; Shotwell OL; Saltzman BE
University of Cincinnati, Department of Environmental Health, Cincinnati, Ohio, 1982 Jan; :1-20
The possibility that the high field levels of aflatoxin (1402682) on grain crops and high dust levels will be a hazard to farmers and grain handlers during harvesting and subsequent handling of the contaminated materials was investigated. Airborne dust samples were collected in and about combines harvesting corn at three farms in Georgia and one in Michigan as well as near trucks being loaded or unloaded with corn at a grain elevator in Georgia. Bulk corn or settled dust samples were also taken. Dust concentrations measured inside the cab of a combine with the doors closed indicated dust levels of 4.02, 5.12, and 2.97mg/m3. The outside dust concentration was 14.0mg/m3. Samples taken showed large variability in aflatoxin levels. The average of the aflatoxin levels in all farm samples collected in Georgia was 42.7 parts per billion (ppb). The average of the aflatoxin concentrations in dust samples taken at the grain elevator was 172.8ppb. Settled dust samples collected at the elevator contained aflatoxins in levels averaging 222ppb. An airborne dust sample taken at a continuously upwind sampling site from the elevator had no detectable aflatoxin levels. Samples from Michigan did not have aflatoxin contamination, perhaps because the lower ambient temperature was not favorable to fungal growth. The authors caution that farmers, truckers, and grain handlers in the south are apparently frequently exposed to aflatoxin contaminated dust and grain.
NIOSH-Grant; Grain-elevator-workers; Grain-elevators; Airborne-dusts; Plant-dusts; Truck-drivers; Agricultural-workers; Fungi; Dust-inhalation; Mycotoxins
Environmental Health Kettering Laboratory 3223 Eden Avenue Cincinnati, Ohio 45267
Final Grant Report
NTIS Accession No.
University of Cincinnati, Department of Environmental Health, Cincinnati, Ohio
GA; MI; OH
University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio
Page last reviewed: February 18, 2022
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division