Human biomonitoring of deoxynivalenol (DON) - Assessment of the exposure of young German adults from 1996 - 2021

2023, Journals

Schmied, A.; Marske, L.; Berger, M.; Kujath, P.; Weber, T.; Kolossa-Gehring, M.
Int J Hyg Environ Health 252 (2023), 114198; online: 11 June 2023


The mycotoxin deoxynivalenol (DON) is a frequently found contaminant in cereals and cereal-based products. As a German contribution to the European Joint Programme HBM4EU, we analysed the total DON concentration (tDON) in 24-h urine samples from the German Environmental Specimen Bank (ESB). In total, 360 samples collected in 1996, 2001, 2006, 2011, 2016, and 2021 from young adults in Muenster (Germany), were measured by high performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (HPLC-MS/MS) after enzymatic deconjugation of the glucuronide metabolites.

tDON was found in concentrations above the lower limit of quantification (0.3 mug/L) in 99% of the samples. Medians of the measured concentrations and the daily excretion were 4.3 mug/L and 7.9 mug/24 h, respectively. For only nine participants, urinary tDON concentrations exceeded the provisional Human biomonitoring guidance value (HBM GV) of 23 mug/L. Urinary tDON concentrations were significantly higher for male participants. However, 24-h excretion values normalized to the participant's body weight did not exhibit any significant difference between males and females and the magnitude remained unchanged over the sampling years with exception of the sampling year 2001. Daily intakes were estimated from excretion values. Exceedance of the tolerable daily intake (TDI) of 1 mug/kg bw per day was observed for less than 1% of all participants. TDI exceedances were only present in the sampling year 2001 and not in more recent sampling years while exceedance of the HBM guidance value was also observed in 2011 and 2021.

doi: 10.1016/j.ijheh.2023.114198