Navigation Links
Aerosol toxins from red tides may cause long-term health threat
Date:7/9/2008

NOAA scientists reported in the current issue of the journal Environmental Health Perspectives that an algal toxin commonly inhaled in sea spray, attacks and damages DNA in the lungs of laboratory rats. The findings document how the body's way of disposing the toxin inadvertently converts it to a molecule that damages DNA. Human inhalation of brevetoxins produced by the red tide organism, Karenia brevis, is an increasing public health concern.

The scientists, led by John Ramsdell of NOAA's Center for Environmental Health and Biomolecular Research in Charleston, S.C., determined that brevetoxins react with DNA of lung tissue and attach to the DNA-bases that code genetic information. The linkage of chemicals in the environment to DNA is a first step for many cancer causing agents and can lead to mutations in genes that normally prevent the formation of cancers.

The red tide toxin, brevetoxin, has long been recognized as a cause of both neurotoxic poisoning after both consumption of toxic shellfish as well as a respiratory irritation after inhalation of toxic sea spray. Groundbreaking research, leading to this third potential form of poisoning, identified that metabolism produces chemically reactive forms of the toxin. Recognizing the potential of these metabolites to attack DNA, NOAA scientists analyzed the DNA after the toxin was metabolized in the lung. Scientists have not yet determined if brevetoxin damaged DNA accurately repairs itself or if gene mutations result. Brevetoxin has been measured in air during red tide events and human exposure levels have been reported; however, the long-term health risk associated with inhalation of brevetoxins remains to be defined. Individuals are continually exposed to environmental chemicals capable of damaging DNA like carcinogens found in tobacco smoke and air pollution. It is possible that exposure to brevetoxins can add to the cumulative amount of chemically altered DNA in the lungs; an indicator of cancer risk.

"This represents a significant breakthrough in defining the metabolic transformation of brevetoxins and the potential long-term health effects of red tides. It should change perceptions of risk and management of inhalation exposure to harmful algal blooms," notes Ramsdell.

Red tides in the Gulf of Mexico are common, and often persistent, naturally occurring events that release toxins into sea spray aerosols. These aerosols are a particular problem at beaches, as they can cause respiratory distress to lifeguards and beachgoers. Although these shorter-term effects of the airborne toxin are well characterized, potential longer-term effects remain a concern to health officials and coastal communities.

cientists, in NOAA's Oceans and Human Health Initiative, are studying long term health consequences of harmful algal blooms, to predict how the condition of the coastal waters affect human health and how to reduce or eliminate health risks.


'/>"/>

Contact: David Hall
david.l.hall@noaa.gov
301-713-3066
NOAA Headquarters
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Local sources major cause of US near-ground aerosol pollution
2. Technology uses live cells to detect food-borne pathogens, toxins
3. Genetic technology reveals how poisonous mushrooms cook up toxins
4. Decoding effects of toxins on embryo development
5. Hepatitis C virus may need enzymes help to cause liver disease
6. Fungi the cause of many outbreaks of disease but mostly ignored
7. Drug reverses mental retardation caused by genetic disorder
8. Geisinger study: Inflammatory disease causes blindness
9. Domoic acid from toxic algal blooms may cause seizures in California sea lions
10. Oocyte-specific gene mutations cause premature ovarian failure
11. NASA study links Earth impacts to human-caused climate change
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/11/2017)... , April 11, 2017 Crossmatch®, a ... authentication solutions, today announced that it has been ... Research Projects Activity (IARPA) to develop next-generation Presentation ... "Innovation has been a driving force ... program will allow us to innovate and develop ...
(Date:4/5/2017)... , April 5, 2017  The Allen Institute ... Allen Cell Explorer: a one-of-a-kind portal and dynamic digital ... 3D imaging data, the first application of deep learning ... human stem cell lines and a growing suite of ... platform for these and future publicly available resources created ...
(Date:3/30/2017)... March 30, 2017  On April 6-7, 2017, Sequencing.com ... Genome hackathon at Microsoft,s headquarters in ... will focus on developing health and wellness apps that ... Hack the Genome is the first hackathon for ... world,s largest companies in the genomics, tech and health ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/22/2017)... ... June 22, 2017 , ... For the ... has produced a Spotlight series on “Cell Therapy Regulation” for its ... leading experts on the unique regulatory challenges of stem cell medical research. , ...
(Date:6/20/2017)... ... June 20, 2017 , ... CTNext , Connecticut’s ... has formed a Higher Education Entrepreneurship Advisory Committee to implement the recommendations of ... other high-ranking representatives from 35 higher education institutions across the state over the ...
(Date:6/20/2017)... Parsippany, NJ (PRWEB) , ... June 20, 2017 , ... ... OHAUS makes the transition from being a trusted supplier in the weighing industry, to ... including cell extractions, ELISA essays, enzyme reactions, immunoassays, hybridizations and more, allowing for ...
(Date:6/19/2017)... ... June 19, 2017 , ... A colony of healthy honey bees is like ... delivering pollen and nectar containing nutrients necessary for growth and survival. Better nutrition gives ... recent indicators point to a decline in honey bee health. Sick and weakened bees ...
Breaking Biology Technology: