Health Effects of Moldy Buildings – Exposure Routes


This page lists medical journal articles discussing the issue of exposure routes as they relate to toxins found in moldy buildings.

The Health Effects of Moldy Buildings page of the Paradigm Change site provides further information on this topic.


Boonen J, Malysheva SV, Taevernier L, Diana Di Mavungu J, De Saeger S, De Spiegeleer B. Human skin penetration of selected model mycotoxins. Toxicology. 2012 Nov 15;301(1-3):21-32. PMID: 22749975

In this study, the transdermal kinetics of aflatoxin B1 (AFB1), ochratoxin A (OTA), fumonisin B1 (FB1), citrinin (CIT), zearalenone (ZEA) and T-2 toxin (T-2) were quantitatively evaluated, using human skin in an in vitro Franz diffusion cell set-up. Dermal exposure to the DNA-reactive genotoxic carcinogenic AFB1 can lead to a health risk for agricultural workers which are exposed to a mycotoxin contaminated solution in a worst case situation.


Larsson P, Tjälve H. Intranasal instillation of aflatoxin B(1) in rats: bioactivation in the nasal mucosa and neuronal transport to the olfactory bulb. Toxicol Sci. 2000 Jun;55(2):383-91. PMID: 10828271

Aflatoxin B(1) (AFB(1)) may be present in moldy dust. Inhalation of contaminated dust particles may result in high local exposure of the nasal mucosa. The present study was designed to assess bioactivation and toxicity of Aflatoxin B(1) (AFB(1)) in the nasal mucosa after intranasal administration of the mycotoxin in rats and also to examine if translocation of the mycotoxin occurs from the nasal mucosa to the brain along olfactory neurons. It is concluded that application of AFB(1) on the nasal mucosa in rats results in high local bioactivation of the mycotoxin in this tissue and translocation of AFB(1) and/or its metabolites to the olfactory bulb.


Creasia DA, Thurman JD, Wannemacher RW Jr, Bunner DL. Acute inhalation toxicity of T-2 mycotoxin in the rat and guinea pig. Fundam Appl Toxicol. 1990 Jan;14(1):54-9. PMID: 2307322

In this study, concentration-response parameters were determined for rats and guinea pigs systematically exposed to an aerosol of T-2 toxin. These data show that inhaled T-2 toxin is approximately 20 times more toxic to the rat and at least twice as toxic to the guinea pig than intraperitoneal administered T-2 toxin.


Creasia DA, Thurman JD, Jones LJ 3rd, Nealley ML, York CG, Wannemacher RW Jr, Bunner DL. Acute inhalation toxicity of T-2 mycotoxin in mice. Fundam Appl Toxicol. 1987 Feb;8(2):230-5. PMID: 3556834

Experiments were conducted to study the acute inhalation toxicity of T-2 mycotoxin in both young adult and mature mice. For mice, inhalation of T-2 mycotoxin is at least 10 times more toxic than systemic administration and at least 20 times more toxic than dermal administration.


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