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Toxicology. 2012 Nov 15;301(1-3):21-32. doi: 10.1016/j.tox.2012.06.012. Epub 2012 Jun 27.

Human skin penetration of selected model mycotoxins.

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  • 1Ghent University, Harelbekestraat 72, B-9000 Ghent, Belgium.


Dermal exposure data for mycotoxins are very scarce and fragmentary, despite their widespread skin contact and hazard toxicity. In this study, the transdermal kinetics of aflatoxin B1 (AFB1), ochratoxin A (OTA), fumonisin B1 (FB1), citrinin (CIT), zearalenone (ZEA) and T-2 toxin (T-2) were quantitatively evaluated, using human skin in an in vitro Franz diffusion cell set-up. All mycotoxins penetrated through the skin, except for FB1, which showed concentrations in the receptor fluid below the LoD, resulting in a K(p)<3.24×10(-6)cm/h. OTA showed the highest permeation (K(p)=8.20×10(-4)cm/h), followed by CIT (K(p)=4.67×10(-4)cm/h). AFB1 and ZEA showed lower permeability rates (K(p)=2.11 and 2.33×10(-4)cm/h, respectively). T-2 was found to have the lowest permeability (K(p)=6.07×10(-5)cm/h). From literature-based mycotoxin-concentrations, dermal contact surface, exposure time and apparent K(p)'s obtained in this study, the daily dermal exposure (DDE) in two industrial and one residential scenario was estimated. Dermal exposure to the DNA-reactive genotoxic carcinogenic AFB1 can lead to a health risk for agricultural workers which are exposed to a mycotoxin contaminated solution in a worst case situation. For all the other investigated mycotoxins, no significant health risk is calculated after dermal contact in neither agricultural nor residential environments.

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