Navigation Links
If the water looks and smells bad, it may be toxic
Date:9/13/2010

Earthy or musty odors, along with visual evidence of blue-green algae, also known as cyanobacteria, may serve as a warning that harmful cyanotoxins are present in lakes or reservoirs. In a newly published USGS study of cyanobacterial blooms in Midwest lakes, taste-and-odor compounds were found almost every time cyanotoxins were found, indicating odor may serve as a warning that harmful toxins are present.

"It is commonly believed that there are no health risks associated with taste-and-odor compounds," said Dr. Jennifer Graham, USGS limnologist and lead scientist on this study. "While taste-and-odor compounds are not toxic, these pungent compounds were always found with cyanotoxins in the blooms sampled. This finding highlights the need for increased cyanotoxin surveillance during taste-and-odor events so that the public can be advised and waters can be effectively treated."

Cyanotoxins are produced by some cyanobacteria. Cyanobacteria commonly form a blue-green, red or brown film-like layer on the surface of lakes and reservoirs. This phenomenon is frequently noticed in the United States during the summer, but also occurs during other seasons.

Cyanotoxins can be poisonous to people, aquatic life, pets and livestock. Removing or treating affected water can be both costly and time-intensive. Cyanotoxins are currently on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's drinking-water contaminant candidate list, and many states include cyanotoxins in their freshwater beach-monitoring programs.

"Exposure to these toxins has caused a range of symptoms including skin rashes, severe stomach upset, seizures, or even death," said Dr. Keith Loftin, USGS research chemist and environmental engineer. "Pets and livestock are most susceptible to direct exposure, but people can also be affected during recreation, by eating contaminated foods, or by drinking contaminated water that has not been treated properly."

For this study, a cyanobacterial bloom from each of 23 lakes in Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota and Missouri was sampled and analyzed for thirteen toxins and two taste-and-odor compounds. Lakes were targeted based on a known history of cyanobacterial bloom occurrence.

Microcystins, a specific type of toxin, are often the only cyanotoxin considered when evaluating risks associated with cyanobacteria in waters used for recreation or drinking water supply. Microcystins were found in all samples; however, this study also indicates that toxins other than microcystins may be more common than previously thought.

Taste-and-odor compounds were detected in 91 percent of samples. Since toxins occurred more frequently than taste-and-odor compounds, odor alone does not provide sufficient warning to ensure human-health protection against cyanotoxin exposure.

If you think you see a harmful algal bloom, avoiding it is the first course of action. A good second step is to notify local authorities responsible for the affected area, such as a lake manager, state health department, or other relevant state agencies.


'/>"/>

Contact: Kara Capelli
kcapelli@usgs.gov
571-230-6601
United States Geological Survey
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Water management and malnutrition crucial issues at McGill food conference
2. 2002 Oil Spill May Shed Light on Health Problems for Deepwater Workers
3. Could Drinking Water Before Meals Help You Lose Weight?
4. Africa cell phone boom beneficial -- but schools, roads, power, water remain critical needs
5. Nanotechnology for water purification
6. Underwater sponges and worms may hold key to cure for malaria
7. Pionetics Ships its 1,000th LINX Drinking Water System
8. New study links 1 in 5 deaths in Bangladesh to arsenic in the drinking water
9. Voss Foundation Helps CHF International Provide Clean Water in Rural Ethiopia
10. Chemicals remaining after wastewater treatment change the gender of fish
11. Deadly effect of arsenic in drinking water measured in massive study
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/24/2017)... ... March 24, 2017 , ... The iaedp Foundation, the ... medical professionals caring for those suffering from the full spectrum of disordered eating, announced ... eating disorders professionals from nearly all 50 states and several countries converged on the ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Shamanic healer and teacher Anahata Ananda of ... Awakening, proudly presents her Sacred Peru retreat with world famous shaman and ... during the Summer Solstice will also be her final international retreat, Anahata announced ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... ... March 24, 2017 , ... ... wanted to create a communications platform that positions them as the go-to thought ... ONS reinvented their online publication as an always-on, always-fresh news, views and advocacy ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... ... March 24, 2017 , ... On June 9, 2017, ... Claims Litigation seminar in Chicago, Illinois. She will present on: , Filing ... litigated under ERISA involve claims for long-term disability benefits. This session will ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... ... ... Viewers who like to educate themselves on current issues and who enjoy gaining knowledge ... tend to appreciate and love the "Informed" series, hosted by Rob Lowe. A ... around the world. , Running for charity has become a multi-million dollar ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:3/24/2017)... -- Research and Markets has announced the addition of the ... offering. ... the worldwide markets for Dental Implants in US$ Million. The report provides ... Japan , Europe , Asia-Pacific ... Annual estimates and forecasts are provided for the period ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... FinancialBuzz.com News Commentary   ... Medical cannabis products around the world are projected to gain popularity. ... cannabis market will reach a value of USD 55.8 billion by 2025. ... new growing industry. By the end of 2016, 28 states have now ... More conservative states like Arkansas and ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... 2017 Global Ampoules Market report ... classifications, applications and industry chain structure. The Ampoules market ... history, competitive landscape analysis, and major regions, development status. ... ... pages providing 10 company profiles and 183 tables and ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: