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South Florida becomes the epicenter of new algae research

SOUTH FLORIDA, Fla. – Researchers in South Florida are tracking more than 100 people who have been exposed to toxic algae in an effort to understand how it affects humans.

“Really what we’re looking at is risk,” said Dr. Mike Parsons from FGCU’s School of Water. “Does it matter if people are living on a canal where algae blooms? Would that be a problem if you were sailing or working at a restaurant right on a body of water where blue-green algae blooms? And, we don’t know. “

The most known potentially toxic algae that Floridians encounter is blue-green algae – a form of cyanobacteria.

Dr Barry Rosen from FGCU’s School of Water explains: “In fresh water, your host organism can cause problems and it tends to float up in the water column.” “They can form scum on the surface and many of the forms that we see emerging can produce toxins.”

Right now, Dr. Rosen and Dr. Mike Parsons from FGCU’s water school are conducting a new, state-of-the-art study alongside researchers at Florida Atlantic University to better understand how harmful algae affect for human. This new study also focuses on the most likely method of human exposure, which is airborne exposure through a process called aerosolization.

“There is no easy link between algae in the water and toxins in the air,” says Dr. Parsons.

The new study also looks at how people with COVID side effects are affected by toxic algae blooms.

“One of the newest things we have in this year’s study is that we’re looking at the correlation between having a positive visceral experience,” said Dr. Shirley Gordon from the FAU College of Nursing. know. She is someone who studies how these toxins affect the body. “That is the main purpose of this study. It followed a cohort of people who were exposed to harmful algae that bloomed in different ways. “

The study was based on blood, urine and nose samples taken from test subjects when the toxic algae bloomed. and absent.

“Is there a cumulative effect on long-term exposure to harmful algal blooms? And the answers to those questions are still unknown,” said Dr.

The research is still in its infancy, and experts say it will likely take years to completely eliminate the nuances of Southwest Florida algae blooms. The ultimate goal is better health recommendations for everyone potentially affected.

“I think two things the public can really do is let their elected officials know that it’s still important to them and should still be in the public eye,” Dr Parsons said. “Cleaning the water won’t get any easier. It wouldn’t be easier to handle these flowers and take care of them. The second is that they should consider ways that they might be able to reduce their own nutrient intake or improve water quality not only in their homes but possibly in their neighborhoods and communities. HOA club or their country. “

https://nbc-2.com/news/environment/2022/02/21/south-florida-becomes-epicenter-of-new-algae-study/ South Florida becomes the epicenter of new algae research

Tom Vazquez

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