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Ochratoxin A Analysen im Blut von Wertstoffsortierern und Deponie-Beschäftigten: Zwischenauswertung

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Abstract Tasks such as manual sorting of domestic wastes for recyclable goods and the deposition of compostable and noncompostable materials may result in inhalation of mycotoxincontaining aerosols. Ochratoxin A (OTA) was analyzed in blood samples from workers employed at waste handling facilities in South Germany to assess the potential toxic impact of this mycotoxin, and explore its use as a biomarker of exposure to bioaerosols. First results from an interim analysis are reported: The OTA serum levels (median values) in subgroups of workers involved in waste deposition (n=39 ‘Deponierer’) or in waste sorting (n=41) were 0.26 and 0.42 ng/ml, respectively. These workers are both from countries within the European Community (EU). In waste sorters (‘Wertstoffsortierer’) who were born in other European (non-EU) countries (n=61) or elsewhere (n=16 from Asia, Africa), the OTA serum levels (median values) were 0.38 and 0.34 ng/ml, respectively. When compared to published data on median OTA levels in the general population (0.21 ng/ml), i.e. dietary (background) exposure to OTA in Germany, our data point to an additional uptake of this mycotoxin by inhalation in workers with exposure to bioaerosols.

The results support the view that apart from the pathogenic and allergological relevance of microbial emissions from garbage, secondary fungal metabolites, and thus toxicological aspects, deserve further attention.

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Correspondence to Y. Lektarau or M. Blaskewicz or G. H. Degen or C. Grüner.

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Lektarau, Y., Blaskewicz, M., Degen, G.H. et al. Ochratoxin A Analysen im Blut von Wertstoffsortierern und Deponie-Beschäftigten: Zwischenauswertung. Mycotox Res 18, 154 (2002).

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  • Bioaerosols
  • mycotoxin
  • ochratoxin A
  • waste handling facilities