Navigation Links
Potent human toxins prevalent in Canada's freshwaters
Date:8/14/2012

Ottawa, Ontario (August 14, 2012) Nutrient pollution, one of the greatest threats to our freshwater resources, is responsible for the algal blooms that blanket our lakes and waterways in summer months. Large blooms of cyanobacteria ('blue green algae') can cause fish kills, increase the cost of drinking water treatment, devalue shoreline properties, and pose health risks to people, pets, and wildlife. A new paper just published in the Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences shows that microcystin, a toxin produced by cyanobacteria, is present in Canadian lakes in every province.

"Canadians enjoying their summer at the cottage need to know that those green scums of algae washing up on their beach are not only unsightly, but can also be a threat to their health and their children's health," says lead author, Diane Orihel, a researcher with the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Alberta. "It's time to get serious about cleaning up the nutrients polluting our lakes."

Microcystins are well-established as potent liver toxins to humans and other mammals, and are classified as possible human carcinogens. "Blue-green algae present a growing health concern for domestic, agricultural and recreational water use in Canada and world-wide", warns Dr. David Kinniburgh, the Director of the Alberta Centre for Toxicology at the University of Calgary. "The microcystin toxins they produce can cause acute liver failure in humans and may even cause cancer with long-term exposure."

This study is the first to report on microcystin prevalence at a national scaledata from 246 bodies of water across Canada were collected. The authors determined that water quality was most at risk in lakes with the highest concentrations of nutrients. Nutrient-rich lakes and reservoirs, particularly in central Alberta and southwestern Manitoba, proved to have highest toxin concentrations, though all regions in Canada contained lakes that reached microcystin levels of concern.

A very important findingthat calls for further researchwas the strong association between low nitrogen-to-phosphorus ratios and high microcystin concentrations. The authors recommend whole-ecosystem experiments be performed to understand how changing nutrient inputs to lakes affects microcystins and other cyanobacterial toxins. This information is essential for governments to develop effective management strategies for improving water quality in nutrient-polluted lakes.

"Harmful algae blooms are a growing problem worldwide. The more we look, the more we find," remarked international water expert Dr. Stephen Carpenter, Director of the Center for Limnology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, "Orihel and colleagues help define the conditions when we would expect highly toxic freshwater. These insights make it possible to focus management and research on the highest-risk situations."

"This study addresses an issue that has important health consequences, but also highlights the importance of both the underlying basic science and monitoring programs essential to determine environmental changes," says Don Jackson, Co-Editor of the Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences.


'/>"/>

Contact: Jenny Ryan
jenny.ryan@nrcresearchpress.com
613-949-8667
Canadian Science Publishing (NRC Research Press)
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Epigenetic signatures direct the repair potential of reprogrammed cells
2. New insight into mechanisms behind autoimmune diseases suggests a potential therapy
3. Interventional radiology: Potential breakthrough to treat mens enlarged prostate
4. Researchers report potential for a moderate New England red tide in 2012
5. Gallbladder shown as potential stem cell source for regenerative liver and metabolic disease
6. Researchers find potential dark side to diets high in beta-carotene
7. Beehive extract shows potential as prostate cancer treatment
8. Gene therapy for hearing loss: Potential and limitations
9. Folic acid food enrichment potentially protective against childhood cancers
10. Nuisance seaweed found to produce compounds with biomedical potential
11. Potential new approach to regenerating skeletal muscle tissue
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:11/17/2016)... CITY OF INDUSTRY, Calif. , Nov. 17, 2016  AIC announces that it ... about using NVMe storage servers in organizations that require high-performance scale-out plus high speed data transfer ... ... ... Setting ...
(Date:11/15/2016)... 15, 2016  Synthetic Biologics, Inc. (NYSE MKT: ... on the gut microbiome, today announced the pricing ... of its common stock and warrants to purchase ... price to the public of $1.00 per share ... from the offering, excluding the proceeds, if any ...
(Date:11/14/2016)... SARASOTA, Fla., Nov. 14, 2016  xG Technology, Inc. ... in providing critical wireless communications for use in challenging ... ended September 30, 2016. Management will hold a conference ... at 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time (details below). ... announced a $16 million binding agreement to acquire Vislink ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:12/8/2016)... Spain , Dec. 8, 2016  Anaconda BioMed ... the development of the next generation neuro-thrombectomy system for ... appointment of Tudor G. Jovin, MD to join its ... serve as a strategic network of scientific and clinical ... the development of the ANCD BRAIN ® to ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... ... December 08, 2016 , ... ... launch of flexible packaging for their exceptionally efficient human mesenchymal stem/stromal cell ... RoosterBio’s portfolio of bioprocess media products engineered to radically streamline culture processes, ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... , ... December 08, 2016 , ... This CAST literature ... for biotech crops. The authors focus on the economic effects in countries that are ... of new biotech crops and the resultant risk of low level presence (LLP) puts ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... , Dec. 8, 2016 Soligenix, Inc. ... company focused on developing and commercializing products to treat ... announced today that it will be hosting an Investor ... ET on the origins of innate defense regulators (IDRs) ... review of oral mucositis and the recently announced and ...
Breaking Biology Technology: