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Ann Occup Hyg. 2015 Mar;59(2):173-81. doi: 10.1093/annhyg/meu082. Epub 2014 Oct 16.

Assessment of workers' exposure to aflatoxin B1 in a Portuguese waste industry.

Author information

1
1.Environment and Health RG, Lisbon School of Health Technology, Polytechnic Institute of Lisbon, Av. D. João II, lote 4.69.01, Parque das Nações, 1990-096 Lisbon, Portugal 2.Center for Malaria & Tropical Diseases (CMDT), Public Health and Policy, Escola Nacional de Saúde Pública, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Avenida Padre Cruz, 1600-560 Lisboa, Portugal susana.viegas@estesl.ipl.pt.
2
3.Lisbon School of Health Technology, Polytechnic Institute of Lisbon, Lisbon, Portugal.
3
1.Environment and Health RG, Lisbon School of Health Technology, Polytechnic Institute of Lisbon, Av. D. João II, lote 4.69.01, Parque das Nações, 1990-096 Lisbon, Portugal.

Abstract

Aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) is considered by different International Agencies as a genotoxic and potent hepatocarcinogen. However, despite the fact that the fungi producing this compound are detected in some work environments, AFB1 is rarely monitored in occupational settings. The aim of the present investigation was to assess exposure to AFB1 of workers from one Portuguese waste company located in the outskirt of Lisbon. Occupational exposure assessment to AFB1 was done with a biomarker of internal dose that measures AFB1 in the serum by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Forty-one workers from the waste company were enrolled in this study (26 from sorting; 9 from composting; 6 from incineration). A control group (n = 30) was also considered in order to know the AFB1 background levels for the Portuguese population. All the workers showed detectable levels of AFB1 with values ranging from 2.5ng ml(-1) to 25.9ng ml(-1) with a median value of 9.9±5.4ng ml(-1). All of the controls showed values below the method's detection limit. Results obtained showed much higher (8-fold higher) values when compared with other Portuguese settings already studied, such as poultry and swine production. Besides this mycotoxin, other mycotoxins are probably present in this occupational setting and this aspect should be taken into consideration for the risk assessment process due to possible synergistic reactions. The data obtained suggests that exposure to AFB1 occurs in a waste management setting and claims attention for the need of appliance of preventive and protective safety measures.

KEYWORDS:

aflatoxin B1; occupational exposure; waste management

PMID:
25324565
DOI:
10.1093/annhyg/meu082
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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