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Report: Toxins From Algae Outbreaks Plague Hundreds of Lakes in 48 States

Federal and state tests have found dangerous toxins, common in outbreaks of blue-green algae, in hundreds of lakes, rivers and other bodies of water nationwide – yet authorities are doing little to notify and protect Americans, according to a new analysis and map from the Environmental Working Group.  Algae blooms often are triggered by agricultural chemicals that run off crop fields into bodies of water. The “algae” are actually photosynthetic microorganisms. Not all algae blooms are toxic, but for reasons not yet understood, some of these bacteria produce poisonous chemicals called cyanotoxins, including those known as microcystins.  “The bottom line is, if you test for microcystins, you’ll probably find them,” said Soren Rundquist, EWG’s director of spatial analysis. “Hundreds of lakes and other resources Americans rely on for tap water and recreation are contaminated – sometimes even when there is no visible toxic algae bloom.”  Read more....

 

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