|SCALE: Min/Nil=0 Low=1 Moderate=2 High=3 Extreme=4|
The vast majority of trichothecenes are produced by the Fusarium species which are
distributed widely in the environment. Many are pathogenic to crop plants producing wilts,
blights and rots. Deoxynivalenol (DON) and nivalenol (NIV) are the most frequent
trichothecene contaminants of agricultural crops throughout the world with about 45- 50%
of cereal grain samples from 19 countries showing such contamination. Verucarins are
macrocylic secondary metabolites possessing antibiotic, antifungal and cytostatic
C27-H34-O8, "12, 13-deepoxy-12, 13-didehydro-4, 5, 6, 7, 16, 16a, 19a, 22-octahydro-4-
hydroxy-5, 16a, 21-trimethyloxirane-3, 9, 14-trione-", "12, 13-deepoxy-12, 13-didehydro-4,
5, 6, 7, 16, 16a, 19a, 22-octahydro-4-hydroxy-5, 16a, 21-trimethyloxirane-3, 9, 14-trione-
", "verrucarin A, 12, 13-deepoxy-12, 13-didehydro-", "verrucarin A, 12, 13-deepoxy-12,
13-didehydro-", "ver K", "mycotoxin trichothecene sesquiterpenoid"
Irritating to eyes and skin.
Although ingestion is not thought to produce harmful effects, the material may still be damaging to the health of the individual following ingestion, especially where pre- existing organ (e.g. liver, kidney) damage is evident. Present definitions of harmful or toxic substances are generally based on doses producing mortality (death) rather than those producing morbidity (disease, ill-health). Gastrointestinal tract discomfort may produce nausea and vomiting. In an occupational setting however, ingestion of insignificant quantities is not thought to be cause for concern. Considered an unlikely route of entry in commercial/industrial environments. Tricothecenes, including deoxynivalenol (DON) and zearalenone, cause poisoning when ingested. After a short time (under an hour), symptoms such as nausea and vomiting, diarrhea (sometimes bloody), and abdominal pain appears. It also damages the mouth cavity and bone marrow.
This material can cause eye irritation and damage in some persons. The material may produce severe irritation to the eye causing pronounced inflammation. Repeated or prolonged exposure to irritants may produce conjunctivitis.
This material can cause inflammation of the skin oncontact in some persons. Skin contact is not thought to have harmful health effects, however the material may still produce health damage following entry through wounds, lesions or abrasions. Toxic effects may result from skin absorption. Samples containing T-2 toxin and other trichothecenes can cause adverse effects such as irritation, numbness and scaly sloughing. The material may cause severe skin irritation after prolonged or repeated exposure and may produce on contact skin redness, swelling, the production of vesicles, scaling and thickening of the skin. Repeated exposures may produce severe ulceration.
Inhalation may produce severe health damage*. The material is not thought to produce respiratory irritation (as classified using animal models). Nevertheless inhalation of the material, especially for prolonged periods, may produce respiratory discomfort and occasionally, distress. Persons with impaired respiratory function, airway diseases and conditions such as emphysema or chronic bronchitis, may incur further disability if excessive concentrations of particulate are inhaled. Trichothecenes have been used as chemical warfare in the form of yellow particles ("yellow rain"). Exposure causes symptoms of trichothecene poisoning. Effects of poisoning include painful skin lesions, lightheadedness, difficulty breathing and rapid bleeding, debility and death. Survivors can suffer from radiation sickness. Autopsies have revealed wide-ranging effects to the heart, liver and kidney. They also easily cause disruption to the production of blood cells. One member of this family has been used to treat cancer. Other effects include nausea, vomiting, low blood pressure and nervous system effects (confusion, hallucinations, seizures, chills, fever and diarrhea).
Principal routes of exposure are usually by skin contact/absorption and inhalation of generated dust. Some tricothecenes may increase the likelihood of cancer. Chronic exposure to trichothecenes may cause inflammation and damage to the skin, with hemorrhages and purple patches. Anemia and damage to the immune function can result. Non-specific symptoms such as sore throat, diarrhea, headaches, dermatitis, hair loss and general unwellness may also be observed.