Survey on Urinary Levels of Aflatoxins in Professionally Exposed Workers

Fulvio Ferri, Carlo Brera, Barbara De Santis, Giorgio Fedrizzi, Tiziana Bacci, Lorena Bedogni, Sauro Capanni, Giorgia Collini, Enrica Crespi, Francesca Debegnach, Patrizia Ferdenzi, Angelo Gargano, Daniela Gattei, Ferdinando Luberto, Ines Magnani, Massimo Giuseppe Magnani, Pamela Mancuso, Simonetta Menotta, Stefania Mozzanica, Milva OlmiGiuseppe Ombrini, Orietta Sala, Sabina Soricelli, Massimo Vicentini, Paolo Giorgi Rossi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Feed mill workers may handle or process maize contaminated with aflatoxins (AFs). This condition may lead to an unacceptable intake of toxins deriving from occupational exposure. This study assessed the serological and urinary levels of AFs in workers exposed to potentially contaminated dusts in two mills. From March to April 2014, blood and urine samples were collected, on Monday and Friday morning of the same working week from 29 exposed workers and 30 non-exposed controls. AFs (M₁, G₂, G₁, B₁, B₂) and aflatoxicol (AFOH) A were analyzed. Each subject filled in a questionnaire to evaluate potential food-borne exposures to mycotoxins. AFs contamination in environmental dust was measured in both plants. No serum sample was found to be positive. Seventy four percent of urine samples (73.7%) revealed AFM₁ presence. AFM₁ mean concentration was 0.035 and 0.027 ng/mL in exposed and non-exposed workers, respectively (p= 0.432); the concentration was slightly higher in Friday's than in Monday's samples, in exposed workers, 0.040 versus (vs.) 0.031 and non-exposed controls (0.030 vs. 0.024,p= 0.437). Environmental AFs contamination ranged from 7.2 to 125.4 µg/kg. The findings of this study reveal the presence of higher AFs concentration in exposed workers than in non-exposed controls, although these differences are to be considered consistent with random fluctuations.

Original languageEnglish
JournalToxins
Volume9
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 24 2017

Keywords

  • Adult
  • Aflatoxins/blood
  • Aged
  • Animal Feed
  • Diet
  • Dust
  • Environmental Monitoring
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Occupational Exposure/analysis
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Zea mays

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