Speaking in Abuja at a two-day sensitization workshop on the prevention of Mycotoxins in food and environment, Minister of Environment, Mohammad Abubakar expressed his concerns over the high economic loss in the country due to diseases induced by mycotoxins in food products.
”The common occurrence and extensive growth of moulds in homes, schools, offices and especially on food and food products poses a great risk to human survival,” he said, adding that:” The low level of knowledge by the public about these moulds and the effects of the metabolites they produce is of great concern and needs to be promptly addressed.”
”Exposure to moulds and their toxic mycotoxins and other metabolites in food and environment has been associated with disorders of the respiratory and central nervous systems to mention but a few. We must, as a country, be worried about the risk of environmental exposures experienced by those that consume or are exposed to food and food products contaminated with mycotoxins.
”As has been well established, the exposure of human and animal to mycotoxin is both chronic (cancer induction, kidney toxicity, immune suppression) and acute (turkey X syndrome, human ergotism, etc). The ingestion of mycotoxin through food and inhalation of mycotoxins and other contaminants in the air might result in lung damage, allergic reactions such as irritation in the respiratory tract, eyes, and skin, and sometimes headaches. Exposure to all these contaminants could have harmful effects on vital organs and consequently on the overall human health and productivity.”