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
A first-of-its-kind field study of Southwest Florida air and water didn’t find widespread cyanobacteria toxins however, it did find several neurotoxins as well as three forms of BMAA, a neurotoxin linked to grave brain diseases.
Calusa Waterkeeper and Wyoming-based Brain Chemistry Labs collaborate on a groundbreaking device to research airborne toxins from harmful algal blooms utilizing the most sensitive technology available for detecting harmful algal bloom (HAB) toxins,
A new University of Florida study with two nonprofit research partners shows clear ties between nitrogen from human activities and the longevity and severity of the saltwater harmful algal blooms as published in the academic journal Science of the Total Environment.
Gulf of Mexico and Lake Okeechobee water temperatures are warm for this time of year, and those warm waters could lead to a myriad of problems, from blue-green algae blooms to feeding tropical storms and hurricanes that could lead to bloom conditions in the summer of 2023.
John Cassani is the Calusa Waterkeeper and says there were multiple factors leading to the green algae. These include rain, water movement and warm water temperature. But the dominant force is runoff.
Conservation groups sent a letter today urging Florida officials to set water-quality standards for the harmful toxins in algal blooms that threaten the health of the state’s residents and wildlife. The request comes after the FDEP announced it would not set legal limits on the cyanotoxins that make the blooms so harmful.
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