Agent Name

Aflatoxins

CAS Number

1402-68-2

Formula

Unspecified

Major Category

Biological Agents

Category

Mycotoxins

Sources/Uses

Used in molecular biology research; [HSDB] "Occupational exposure can occur through the handling and processing of aflatoxin-contaminated crops. Low-level respiratory exposure to aflatoxin-contaminated dust particles was reported in workers processing imported maize and in workers extracting oil from linseeds and groundnuts. Dust levels of aflatoxin collected at different animal feed production sites ranged from none detectable to 8 ug/kg dust. In a study of 45 male workers at 2 Danish livestock feed processing companies, respiratory exposure to aflatoxins was reported; the mean level of positive samples was expressed as 64 ng/d/kg body weight. Monitoring data indicate that the general population is predominately exposed to aflatoxins via the ingestion of food and may be exposed through dermal contact with this compound and other products containing aflatoxins (SRC). Exposure can occur due to the presence of aflatoxin and aflatoxin metabolites in milk and milk products from animals that have consumed contaminated feed." [IARC]

Comments

The LDLo in humans after an oral dose is 0.229 mg/kg with effects including bleeding from the small intestine and jaundice. [ChemIDplus] A mycotoxin produced by Aspergillus species, aflatoxin may contaminate corn and peanuts stored in a warm, damp environment. The four main aflatoxins are B1,B2, G1, and G2. Animal experiments have shown aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) to be a strong hepatic carcinogen. [Schottenfeld, p. 769] Aflatoxin is one of the "Substances and Mixtures That Have Been Evaluated by IARC as Definite (Group 1) Human Carcinogens and Are Occupational Exposures." The high-risk occupational exposures are "Feed production industry, workers loading and unloading cargo; rice and maize processing." [Siemiatycki, p. 327] Mycotoxins produced by many Aspergillus mold species that grow on and contaminate commodities (i.e. cereals, oilseeds, nuts, and tobacco) in the field or in storage; Can also be found in milk products of animals ingesting contaminated feed; Over a dozen aflatoxins have been identified, with many being mammalian biotransformation products of the major metabolites; Associated with increased mortality in livestock and toxicity and carcinogenicity in humans and animals; Chronic toxicosis can cause cancer, immune suppression, and other conditions; The liver has been shown to be the primary target organ in experimental animals; Epidemiological evidence suggests that aflatoxin ingestion may increase the risk of hepatic cancer, and occupational inhalation may increase the risk of respiratory cancer; Approximate lethal dose in humans is 10-20 mg; Aflatoxin B1 is the most powerful naturally occurring animal carcinogen known; [Reference #1]

Reference Link

PubMed Full-Text: Mycotoxins

Exposure Assessment
Vapor Pressure

1.25E-10 mm Hg

Adverse Effects
Hepatotoxin

Hepatotoxin, Secondary

IARC Carcinogen

Known Carcinogen

NTP Carcinogen

Human Carcinogen

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Health Studies

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Toxicity Information

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Chemical Information

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Diseases

Occupational diseases associated with exposure to this agent:

Processes

Industrial Processes with risk of exposure: