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Are Mycotoxins Stunting Children’s Growth?


EMSL Analytical offers complete microbial testing services, including for mycotoxins, to protect people from unnecessary exposures.

Cinnaminson, NJ

According to an article published last week at EIN’s World News Report a team of international scientists believes they may have found a major cause for underweight children in the developing world. Fumonisin, a mycotoxin (a toxic metabolite produced by some types of fungi) is believed to be the culprit.

According to the article entitled Scientists Find Cause for Stunted Growth in Children: A Fungus, “In the latest issue of Molecular Nutrition and Food Research, scientists of the Institute of Tropical Medicine in Antwerp and associates at Gent University and the Tanzania Food and Drugs Authority observed that children about one year old who received nutrition through corn-flour-based food were exposed to fumonisin at higher levels than suggested maximum tolerable amounts.”

The dangerous toxin, fumonisin, is produced by the fungal species Fusarium. In addition to producing fumonisin, some species of the fungus also produce the dangerous mycotoxin known as trichothecenes. Mycotoxins have been known to materialize in various food and animal feed as a result of fungal contamination; typically of stored grains. These toxins have also been found inside homes and in building materials (wallboard, sheetrock), including in the air when certain types of fungi are present due to water damage.

At EMSL Analytical, mycotoxins are detected using advanced LC-MS technologies, ELISA methods or VICAM’s proprietary antibody columns specific to one mycotoxin. The method utilized is based upon the clients’ needs and their request.

“Today over 100 countries regulate mycotoxins in the feed industry and a great deal of interest has been shown in scientific studies regarding exposure to mycotoxins in indoor environments,” reported Joe Frasca, Senior Vice President at EMSL. “Mycotoxicoses, poisoning associated with exposure to mycotoxins, has been best studied to date primarily regarding cases of ingestion by contaminated food sources. It is known to severely sicken or kill both humans and animals.”

To learn more about testing for mycotoxins in food or environmental samples please visit, call (800) 220-3675 or email

About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider of environmental and materials testing services and products to professionals and the general public. The company has an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies.


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