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Toxins 2019, 11(2), 78;

Occupational Exposure to Mycotoxins in Swine Production: Environmental and Biological Monitoring Approaches

H&TRC—Health & Technology Research Center, ESTeSL—Escola Superior de Tecnologia da Saúde, Instituto Politécnico de Lisboa, 1990-096 Lisbon, Portugal
Centro de Investigação em Saúde Pública, Escola Nacional de Saúde Pública, Universidade NOVA de Lisboa, 1600-560 Lisbon, Portugal
Food and Nutrition Department, National Institute of Health Doutor Ricardo Jorge, I.P. (INSA), Av. Padre Cruz, 1649-016 Lisbon, Portugal
Centre for Environmental and Marine Studies (CESAM), University of Aveiro, Campus de Santiago, 3810-193 Aveiro, Portugal
Escola Nacional de Saúde Pública, Universidade NOVA de Lisboa, 1600-560 Lisbon, Portugal
Group of Prof. Humpf, Institute of Food Chemistry, Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster Corrensstraße 45, 48149 Münster, Germany
Faculty of Natural Sciences, Institute of Experimental Biology, Department of Physiology and Toxicology, Kazimierz Wielki University, 85-064 Bydgoszcz, Poland
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 2 December 2018 / Revised: 14 January 2019 / Accepted: 18 January 2019 / Published: 1 February 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mycotoxins Exposure and Related Disease)
PDF [320 KB, uploaded 1 February 2019]


Swine production workers are exposed simultaneously to multiple contaminants. Occupational exposure to aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) in Portuguese swine production farms has already been reported. However, besides AFB1, data regarding fungal contamination showed that exposure to other mycotoxins could be expected in this setting. The present study aimed to characterize the occupational exposure to multiple mycotoxins of swine production workers. To provide a broad view on the burden of contamination by mycotoxins and the workers’ exposure, biological (urine) samples from workers (n = 25) and 38 environmental samples (air samples, n = 23; litter samples, n = 5; feed samples, n = 10) were collected. The mycotoxins biomarkers detected in the urine samples of the workers group were the deoxynivalenol-glucuronic acid conjugate (60%), aflatoxin M1 (16%), enniatin B (4%), citrinin (8%), dihydrocitrinone (12%) and ochratoxin A (80%). Results of the control group followed the same pattern, but in general with a lower number of quantifiable results (<LOQ). Besides air samples, all the other environmental samples collected presented high and diverse contamination, and deoxynivalenol (DON), like in the biomonitoring results, was the most prominent mycotoxin. The results demonstrate that the occupational environment is adding and contributing to the workers’ total exposure to mycotoxins, particularly in the case of DON. This was confirmed by the biomonitoring data and the high contamination found in feed and litter samples. Furthermore, he followed multi-biomarker approach allowed to conclude that workers and general population are exposed to several mycotoxins simultaneously. Moreover, occupational exposure is probably described as being intermittent and with very high concentrations for short durations. This should be reflected in the risk assessment process. View Full-Text
Keywords: mycotoxins; occupational exposure; swine production; biomonitoring; mycotoxins mixture mycotoxins; occupational exposure; swine production; biomonitoring; mycotoxins mixture
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Viegas, S.; Assunção, R.; Martins, C.; Nunes, C.; Osteresch, B.; Twarużek, M.; Kosicki, R.; Grajewski, J.; Ribeiro, E.; Viegas, C. Occupational Exposure to Mycotoxins in Swine Production: Environmental and Biological Monitoring Approaches. Toxins 2019, 11, 78.

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