Special Issue "Occupational Exposure to Mycotoxins—Challenges and Ways Forward"

A special issue of Toxins (ISSN 2072-6651). This special issue belongs to the section "Mycotoxins".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 October 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Susana Viegas
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Guest Editor
Occupational and Environmental Health, Escola Nacional de Saúde Pública, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Avenida Padre Cruz,1600-560 Lisboa, Portugal
Interests: occupational toxicology; exposure and risk assessment; mixtures; biomonitoring
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Ricardo Assunção
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Guest Editor
Food and Nutrition Department, National Institute of Health Dr. Ricardo Jorge, Av. Padre Cruz, 1649-016, Lisboa, PortugalCESAM, Centre for Environmental and Marine Studies, University of Aveiro, Campus Universitário de Santiago, 3810-193, Aveiro, Portugal
Interests: food toxicology; mycotoxins; chemical mixtures; risk assessment and risk–benefit assessment of foods; interaction between foods/diets and human health
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Despite dietary exposure being considered the main source of human exposure to mycotoxins, other sources of exposure must be considered as well, such as the occupational environment. Occupational exposure to mycotoxins can be frequent, but, unfortunately, it is rarely reported in the scientific literature. Recent studies have described occupational exposure to mycotoxins in different occupational settings, such as in animal husbandry and food processing sectors, confirming that occupational exposure to mycotoxins cannot be negligible. However, no guidelines or standard methodologies are available to support occupational health and public health practitioners in the establishment of interventions that could contribute to reduce human exposure. Therefore, significant efforts must be developed to properly characterize mycotoxin exposure in occupational settings, where exposure is probable, to assess the associated risk and to understand which factors can influence that exposure, enabling the definition of preventive measures. Additionally, harmonized methodologies are needed to allow comparisons between different studies.

Considering this scope, we look forward to receiving your contributions for this Special Issue in the form of original research or review papers that will shed light onto the different perspectives of mycotoxin occupational exposure. We are not establishing any specific restrictions for particular mycotoxins.

Prof. Susana Viegas
Dr. Ricardo Assunção
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Toxins is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • mycotoxins
  • occupational exposure
  • exposure assessment
  • risk assessment and management

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

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Article
Mycotoxins Exposure of French Grain Elevator Workers: Biomonitoring and Airborne Measurements
Toxins 2021, 13(6), 382; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxins13060382 - 27 May 2021
Viewed by 1103
Abstract
It is now recognized that additional exposure to mycotoxins may occur through inhalation of contaminated dust at a workplace. The aim of this study was to characterize the multi-mycotoxin exposure of French grain elevator workers using biomonitoring and airborne measurements. Eighteen workers participated [...] Read more.
It is now recognized that additional exposure to mycotoxins may occur through inhalation of contaminated dust at a workplace. The aim of this study was to characterize the multi-mycotoxin exposure of French grain elevator workers using biomonitoring and airborne measurements. Eighteen workers participated in the study. Personal airborne dust samples were analyzed for their mycotoxin concentrations. Workers provided multiple urine samples including pre-shift, post-shift and first morning urine samples or 24 h urine samples. Mycotoxin urinary biomarkers (aflatoxin B1, aflatoxin M1, ochratoxin A, ochratoxin α, deoxynivalenol, zearalenone, α-zearalenol, β-zearalenol, fumonisin B1, HT-2 toxin and T-2 toxin) were measured using a liquid chromatography–high-resolution mass spectrometry method. Grain elevator workers were highly exposed to organic airborne dust (median 4.92 mg.m−3). DON, ZEN and FB1 were frequent contaminants in 54, 76 and 72% of air samples, respectively. The mycotoxin biomarkers quantified were DON (98%), ZEN (99%), α-ZEL (52%), β-ZEL (33%), OTA (76%), T-2 (4%) and HT-2 (4%). DON elimination profiles showed highest concentrations in samples collected after the end of the work shift and the urinary DON concentrations were significantly higher in post-shift than in pre-shift-samples (9.9 and 22.1 µg/L, respectively). ZEN and its metabolites concentrations did not vary according to the sampling time. However, the levels of α-/β-ZEL were consistent with an additional occupational exposure. These data provide valuable information on grain worker exposure to mycotoxins. They also highlight the usefulness of multi-mycotoxin methods in assessing external and internal exposures, which shed light on the extent and pathways of exposure occurring in occupational settings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Occupational Exposure to Mycotoxins—Challenges and Ways Forward)
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Article
Investigating Multi-Mycotoxin Exposure in Occupational Settings: A Biomonitoring and Airborne Measurement Approach
Toxins 2021, 13(1), 54; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxins13010054 - 13 Jan 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 745
Abstract
Investigating workplace exposure to mycotoxins is of the utmost importance in supporting the implementation of preventive measures for workers. The aim of this study was to provide tools for measuring mycotoxins in urine and airborne samples. A multi-class mycotoxin method was developed in [...] Read more.
Investigating workplace exposure to mycotoxins is of the utmost importance in supporting the implementation of preventive measures for workers. The aim of this study was to provide tools for measuring mycotoxins in urine and airborne samples. A multi-class mycotoxin method was developed in urine for the determination of aflatoxin B1, aflatoxin M1, ochratoxin A, ochratoxin α, deoxynivalenol, zearalenone, α-zearalenol, β-zearalenol, fumonisin B1, HT2-toxin and T2-toxin. Analysis was based on liquid chromatography–high resolution mass spectrometry. Sample pre-treatments included enzymatic digestion and an online or offline sample clean-up step. The method was validated according to the European Medicines Agency guidance procedures. In order to estimate external exposure, air samples collected with a CIP 10 (Capteur Individuel de Particules 10) personal dust sampler were analyzed for the quantification of up to ten mycotoxins, including aflatoxins, ochratoxin A, deoxynivalenol, zearalenone, fumonisin B1 and HT-2 toxin and T-2 toxin. The method was validated according to standards for workplace exposure to chemical and biological agents EN 482. Both methods, biomonitoring and airborne mycotoxin measurement, showed good analytical performances. They were successfully applied in a small pilot study to assess mycotoxin contamination in workers during cleaning of a grain elevator. We demonstrated that this approach was suitable for investigating occupational exposure to mycotoxins. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Occupational Exposure to Mycotoxins—Challenges and Ways Forward)
Article
Single-Dose Toxicity of Individual and Combined Sterigmatocystin and 5-Methoxysterigmatocistin in Rat Lungs
Toxins 2020, 12(11), 734; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxins12110734 - 23 Nov 2020
Viewed by 646
Abstract
Sterigmatocystin (STC) and 5-methoxysterigmatocystin (5-M-STC) are mycotoxins produced by common damp indoor Aspergilli series Versicolores. Since both STC and 5-M-STC were found in the dust of indoor occupational and living areas, their occupants may be exposed to these mycotoxins, primarily by inhalation. [...] Read more.
Sterigmatocystin (STC) and 5-methoxysterigmatocystin (5-M-STC) are mycotoxins produced by common damp indoor Aspergilli series Versicolores. Since both STC and 5-M-STC were found in the dust of indoor occupational and living areas, their occupants may be exposed to these mycotoxins, primarily by inhalation. Thus, STC and 5-M-STC were intratracheally instilled in male Wistar rats using doses (0.3 mg STC/kg of lung weight (l.w.); 3.6 mg 5-M-STC/kg l.w.; toxin combination 0.3 + 3.6 mg/kg l.w.) that corresponded to concentrations detected in the dust of damp indoor areas in order to explore cytotoxicity, vascular permeability, immunomodulation and genotoxicity. Single mycotoxins and their combinations insignificantly altered lactate-dehydrogenase activity, albumin, interleukin-6, tumor necrosis factor-α and chemokine macrophage inflammatory protein-1α concentrations, as measured by ELISA in bronchioalveolar lavage fluid upon 24 h of treatment. In an alkaline comet assay, both mycotoxins provoked a similar intensity of DNA damage in rat lungs, while in a neutral comet assay, only 5-M-STC evoked significant DNA damage. Hence, naturally occurring concentrations of individual STC may induce DNA damage in rat lungs, in which single DNA strand breaks prevail, while 5-M-STC was more responsible for double-strand breaks. In both versions of the comet assay treatment with STC + 5-M-STC, less DNA damage intensity occurred compared to single mycotoxin treatment, suggesting an antagonistic genotoxic action. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Occupational Exposure to Mycotoxins—Challenges and Ways Forward)
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Review

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Review
Occupational Exposure to Mycotoxins—Different Sampling Strategies Telling a Common Story Regarding Occupational Studies Performed in Portugal (2012–2020)
Toxins 2020, 12(8), 513; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxins12080513 - 11 Aug 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1046
Abstract
In occupational settings where exposure to organic dust occurs (e.g., intensive animal production, waste management, farming and many others) workers can also be exposed to mycotoxins. However, recognizing exposure to mycotoxins in workplace environments does not happen commonly and, consequently, remains as a [...] Read more.
In occupational settings where exposure to organic dust occurs (e.g., intensive animal production, waste management, farming and many others) workers can also be exposed to mycotoxins. However, recognizing exposure to mycotoxins in workplace environments does not happen commonly and, consequently, remains as a not identified occupational risk factor. In the last decade, work developed in different occupational settings, using different sampling approaches reported that occupational exposure to mycotoxins occurs and it’s of upmost importance to be seen as an occupational concern that needs to be tackled. This paper intends to discuss the several possibilities available for assessing and characterizing the occupational exposure to mycotoxins through the description of the advantages and limitations of the different sampling strategies. Overviewing the approaches and the main achievements used in several field campaigns developed in Portugal, the knowledge obtained will be used to support the identification of the main aspects to consider when designing new occupational studies. The need for additional research work will also be discussed where new directions to follow will be debated. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Occupational Exposure to Mycotoxins—Challenges and Ways Forward)
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