Levels of Organization Image Map

Corn Field ImageWhy are aflatoxins a concern?

Aflatoxin has attracted a lot of concern due to its frequent occurrence in human food and its ability to cause cancer. A significant percentage of the world's grain and oil seed supply is contaminated with aflatoxins. 

Aflatoxins can survive heat and a variety of processing procedures. They occur as "unavoidable" contaminants of corn, peanuts, peanut butter, breakfast cereals, cornmeal, tortillas, and milk. Dairy cows can have some of these toxins in their milk following the ingestion of feed containing aflatoxins. 

How can you avoid exposure to aflatoxins?

  • Corn Kernel with Mold ImageThrow away all food contaminated with mold.

  • Do not leave foods uncovered for long periods of time. Store them in a cool, dry place.

  • Buy only major brands of nuts and peanut butters.

  • Discard any nuts that look moldy, discolored or shriveled.

Other kinds of mycotoxins

Some kinds of mold make toxins that are carried in the air. Old, unclean, and moist buildings are especially like to have such mold toxins. This situation is often referred to as "sick building syndrome" and can be a major hazard to public health. Click here for more information.


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