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Mycotoxins as harmful indoor air contaminants

Abstract

Fungal metabolites (mycotoxins) that pose a health hazard to humans and animals have long been known to be associated with mold-contaminated food and feed. In recent times, concerns have been raised about exposures to mycotoxin-producing fungi in indoor environments, e.g., damp homes and buildings. The principal mycotoxins that contaminate food and feed (alfatoxins, fumonisins, ochratoxin A, deoxynivalenol, zearalenone) are rarely if ever found in indoor environments, but their toxicological properties provide an insight into the difficulties of assessing the health effects of related mycotoxins produced by indoor molds. Although the Penicillium and Aspergillus genera of fungi are major contaminants of both food and feed products and damp buildings, the particular species and hence the array of mycotoxins are quite different in these environments. The mycotoxins of these indoor species and less common mycotoxins from Stachybotrys and Chaetomium fungi are discussed in terms of their health effects and the need for relevant biomarkers and long-term chronic exposure studies.

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Correspondence to Bruce B. Jarvis.

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Jarvis, B.B., Miller, J.D. Mycotoxins as harmful indoor air contaminants. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol 66, 367–372 (2005). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00253-004-1753-9

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00253-004-1753-9

Keywords

  • Aflatoxin
  • Zearalenone
  • Inhalation Exposure
  • Sterigmatocystin
  • Stachybotrys