Levels and Distribution of Aflatoxin B1 in Grain Dust

  • Popendorf, William;
  • Selim, Mustafa;
  • Juchems, A. M.

A combination of traditional and new supercritical fluid extraction (SFE) methods were used for the analysis of aflatoxin B1 in grain dust collected during field harvesting, grain unloading, bin clean out, and animal feeding operations. Bulk corn samples were also collected for comparison of their aflatoxin B1 with the airborne concentrations. The highest airborne concentration of aflatoxin B1 found in dust collected during harvest and rain unloading were 67 and 92 ng/m3, respectively. Higher levels of aflatoxin B1 were found In the airborne dust samples collected from enclosed animal feeding buildings (421 ng/m3) and during clean out (4849 ng/m3). Aflatoxin B1 up to 5,100 ppb were detected in settled dust collected from enclosed animal feeding building.

Size specific sampling and analysis were conducted only during grain bin clean out operations. The average mass median aerodynamic diameter of collected dust was 9.5 µm, The highest average concentration of aflatoxin B1 was found on dust particles <= 1 µm in diameter (160 ppm) versus particles >= 7 µm in diameter (6.5 ppm). However, the predominance of larger particles in this environment causes the majority of the aflatoxin concentration to be on particles >= 7 µm.

The data demonstrate that farmers and farm workers may be exposed to potentially hazardous concentrations of aflatoxin B1, particularly during bin clean out and animal feeding in enclosed buildings.

This research abstract was extracted from a portion of the proceedings of "Agricultural Safety and Health: Detection, Prevention and Intervention," a conference presented by the Ohio State University and the Ohio Department of Health, sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control/National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.

The authors noted above are from: All from the Institute of Agricultural Medicine & Occupational Health, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA.

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