Florida Toxic Algae: Overview

Modified on 2009/10/14 21:34 by admin
In 2000, the St. Johns River Water Management District in Florida conducted tests of water supplies in the district's jurisdiction. The study found that 185,000 people in Palm Beach and several other Florida counties were drinking water contaminated with cancer-causing algae toxins.

In light of these tests, the City of Melbourne, Florida recently arranged to have its water supply tested. Samples taken from Lake Washington and treated in the city's water treatment plant tested positive for a small amount of the toxic algae microcystin (59 parts per trillion). The level found is well within acceptable limits set by the World Health Organization. However, the city's test was not conducted during a full algae bloom. An independent test of Lake Washington's water conducted during such a bloom revealed much higher levels of microcystin.

Another toxic algae, cylindrospermopsis, has been discovered in Lake County, Florida. The algae was found in Lakes Griffin, Beauclair, Dora, Eustis, Harris and Yale. Cylindrospermopsis has also been found in the St. Johns River. Fish in these waters appear to be unaffected by the cylindrospermopsis, however, alligators that eat the fish are dying. Outbreaks of cylindrospermopsis contamination have caused health problems around the state, including complaints of sore throats, headaches, and severe rashes.

See your doctor if you have experienced serious health problems caused by exposure to toxic algae. In addition, it may be important to contact an attorney who can help you protect your legal rights. Please keep in mind that there may be time limits within which you must commence suit.

See Also

  1. Specific Contaminated Sites
  2. Cancer
  3. Ear, Nose, & Throat Disorders
  4. Headaches
  5. Skin Disorders: Overview
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