NIOSHTIC-2 Publications Search
Health impact of mycotoxins in the home and workplace: an overview.
Biodeterioration research 2: general biodeterioration, degradation, mycotoxins, biotoxins and wood decay, proceedings of the Second Meeting of the Pan American Biodeterioration Society, July 28-31, 1988, Washington, D.C. O'Rear CE, Llewellyn GC, eds. New York: Plenum Press, 1989 Jul; 2:201-215
The effects of pulmonary exposure to substances produced by fungi are discussed. Topics included: toxic volatile compounds of fungi, the occurrence of aflatoxin (1402682) in workplace aerosols, the occurrence of mycotoxins in fungal spores, the effects of mycotoxins in the lung, and the needs of future research. Fungi known to cause respiratory problems upon inhalation were reviewed along with the volatile agents they produce; many of the latter were associated with high 50% lethal doses but some had significant toxic effects. Data from studies on the effects of inhaled aflatoxin on humans demonstrated increased cancer rates in exposed individuals. Aflatoxin has been shown to be present in corn and peanut dust and highly toxic macrocyclic-trichothecenes have been found in the conidia of Stachybotrys-atra. Studies have shown that T-2 mycotoxin (21259201), patulin (149291), and penicillic-acid can inhibit protein and RNA synthesis and also phagocytosis in pulmonary alveolar macrophages. Exposure to 1000 parts per million aflatoxin has resulted in lung lesions in five of eight animals. The author concludes that inhalation exposure to fungi and fungal spores may represent an occupational health hazard for agricultural and other exposed workers.
Toxic-effects; Occupational-exposure; Microorganisms; Respiratory-system-disorders; Hypersensitivity; Agricultural-workers; Immune-reaction
1402-68-2; 21259-20-1; 149-29-1
Biodeterioration research 2: general biodeterioration, degradation, mycotoxins, biotoxins and wood decay, proceedings of the Second Meeting of the Pan American Biodeterioration Society, July 28-31, 1988, Washington, D.C.
Page last reviewed: April 12, 2019
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division