Ergosterol and mycotoxins in grain dusts from fourteen Belgian cereal storages: A preliminary screening survey

Authors

  • Emmanuel K Tangni,

    1. Department of Quality and Safety, Veterinary and Agrochemical Research Centre, Leuvensesteenweg, 17, B-3080 Tervuren, Belgium
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  • Luc Pussemier

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Quality and Safety, Veterinary and Agrochemical Research Centre, Leuvensesteenweg, 17, B-3080 Tervuren, Belgium
    • Department of Quality and Safety, Veterinary and Agrochemical Research Centre, Leuvensesteenweg, 17, B-3080 Tervuren, Belgium
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Abstract

Grain dusts from farms and storage companies are generally used in animal feeding. They can give rise to airborne dust in the environment of workers or accidentally contaminate the following stored grains. Because dusts are potential mycotoxin-rich materials, this preliminary screening survey was undertaken on citreoviridin, citrinin, cyclopiazonic acid, deoxynivalenol, gliotoxin, helvolic acid, mycophenolic acid, nivalenol, ochratoxin A, patulin, penicillic acid, secalonic acid D, sterigmatocystin, zearalenol and zearalenone. Furthermore, ergosterol was determined as a fungal growth marker. Fourteen grain dusts collected from farms and storage companies in Belgium were assayed and toxins co-occurred at uneven distributions with wide ranges of concentrations. Median concentrations exceeded 1 µg g−1 for penicillic acid, gliotoxin, deoxynivalenol, helvolic acid, mycophenolic acid, patulin, sterigmatocystin and zearalenol. Using the median values, an assessment of worker exposure indicated that mycotoxin uptake through dust inhalation may simultaneously contribute to 0.5, 0.5, 0.7 and 0.1% of the respective tolerable daily intake of ochratoxin A, patulin, deoxynivalenol and zearalenone. In spite of these low values, the question of multi-contamination of grain dusts and, consequently, exposure to several mycotoxins should not be underestimated. Moreover, inhalation of contaminated airborne aerosols can represent an additional route of exposure which has not been exhaustively investigated so far. Copyright © 2007 Society of Chemical Industry

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