Blue-green Algae (Cyanobacteria)
Cyanobacteria is one of the oldest types of lifeforms on Earth and is found primarily in freshwater systems. There are thousands of species of cyanobacteria and many are known to produce a variety of toxins.
Cyanobacteria is a photosynthetic microorganism that processes sunlight, nitrogen and phosphorous to live. They can regualate their position in the water column for optimal light and thrive in warm, nutrient-rich fresh or brackish water with low turbulence.
Microcystis and Anabaena are two of the most common cyanobacteria found in estuarine systems today. These bacteria are known to produce cyanotoxins dangerous to humans and animals. Microcystin and Anatoxin are classes of hepatoxin and neurotoxin, affecting the liver and brain, respectively.
Human and animal exposure to Cyantoxins comes in three primary forms of contact:
- Dermal contact
- Inhalation or aspiration from aerosolized surface water
Related News Stories
Harmful Algal Blooms
Waterkeepers Florida submitted comments to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, as part of their triennial review process. In the letter, we lay out the history and importance of Florida accepting and codifying a numerical standard for cyanotoxins.
The Center for Biological Diversity, Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation and Calusa Waterkeeper petitioned the Florida Department of Environmental Protection to protect the public from toxins in the harmful algal blooms that keep reoccurring in the state.
How Much Algae Toxin is too Much? Environmental Groups Urge EPA to Adopt Stricter Guidelines for Recreational Exposure
Amid rising concern about the potential health effects of toxic algae, the EPA released official safety advice that advocates say falls far short of protecting the public. Three environmental nonprofits are petitioning the FDEP to adopt the EPA’s 2016 recommendations instead.
It is dangerous. But what can it do to your health? That is the question at the center of the water quality crisis. Now, researchers with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are trying to get you answers. They are focusing on the people exposed to the algae blooms.
Federal scientists plan a first-ever study of Lake Okeechobee fishing guides to help understand the long-term health effects of the lake’s cyanobacteria blooms. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention intends to recruit 50 volunteers for the research.
So far, the Florida legislative session has not adequately addressed the nutrient pollution time bomb that leads to harmful algal blooms (HABs). Great sums of public dollars have been promised and budgeted but without substantive regulatory reform, the problem will only continue and become more expensive.
Make a Donation