Biovolatilization of antimony and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)
1 The aerobic filamentous fungus S. brevicaulis IMI 17297 methylated antimony from Sb2O3 substrate, with the formation of gaseous trimethylantimony (TMA). No evidence was found for the generation of other gaseous antimony compounds by this organism. 2 Biovolatilization of inorganic antimony was greatest during cultivation of the fungus on solid media at 25 degrees C, and occurred more readily from antimony (HI) substrates than from antimony (V) substrates, 3 Under simulated cot environment conditions (CO2 enriched atmosphere, 33 degrees C) the fungus exhibited an altered morphology and a reduced capability to volatilize inorganic antimony from the pure compound. 4 No evidence of antimony biovolatilization from cot mattress PVC was found, unless antimony was released from PVC by heat treatment (at 80 or 100 degrees C). 5 These data suggest that normal cot environment conditions are non-optimal for volatilization of antimony by S. brevicaulis, and that Sb2O3 in cot mattress PVC is not bioavailable. 6 Cot mattress isolates of S. brevicaulis also volatilized antimony (not encapsulated by PVC), whereas those of other filamentous fungi (Penicillium spp,, Aspergillus niger, Aspergillus fumigatus, Alternaria sp.) and of bacteria (Bacillus spp,) did not. 7 The oxidation products of TMA may be the true determinants of toxicity for biogenic antimony gases produced in an aerobic environment.
Citation:Jenkins, R.O, Craig, P.J. and Goessler, W. and Irgolic, K.J. (1998) Biovolatilization of antimony and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Human and Experimental Toxicology. 17 (4) pp. 231-238
Research Group:Biomedical and Environmental Health