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New Study Raises Concern About Airborne Exposure to Toxic Algae Blooms

Studies of the health hazards of toxic algae blooms have focused largely on the danger of direct contact with contaminated water in lakes, rivers and the ocean. Now a new study shows that even airborne exposure to the bacteria from a toxic bloom could also pose a risk. The study, published this month in the peer-reviewed scientific journal Harmful Algae, showed the presence of microcystin, an extremely toxic type of bacteria produced by eruptions of blue-green algae, in the nasal passages of almost all of its 125 participants, coastal residents of Florida. Some had not come into direct contact with contaminated water. Toxic algae blooms can cause a variety of serious health consequences, including skin irritation, headaches, numbness and fever. Longer-term exposure can lead to cancer, liver failure and sperm damage.  Read more....

 

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