Earlier this week, a meeting in Martin County discussed the toxins that can be found in the blue-green algae and the effects of global warming on the community.
A University of Miami professor reminded the audience that the toxins found in the algae could lead to Alzheimer and other neurogenerative disorders. Even if the hypothesis had not been proven yet, and the study is controversial, some people do believe it has substance.
The experts believe that the alga blooms can contain other chemical substances that are a threat to humans, only that they hadn’t been discovered yet.
The Florida Department of Environmental Health declared that they do not test for BMMA, an amino acid produced by the cyanobacteria. The officials generally check for anatoxin-a, cylindrospermin or microcystin.
The fact that no one knows what the algae could contain is the primary driver for the panic. The participants at the meeting agreed that scientists should continue their research.
A local realtor said he is concerned with the effects of the algal bloom, and he does not even touch the fish from the lake. People feel discouraged to live in the area, and tourists are wandered off by the nasty algal bloom.
While the cyanobacteria outburst seems to stop, people are more and more worried about their safety. Some locals said they have stopped going boating, fishing, or entering the waters, even if the water looks clean.
The blue-green algae had moved away from the waters, as well as the terrifying smell. Even so, the residents believe that they should still be cautious, as the algae might have left microbes behind. They think that the bacteria remained in the water column, even if it cannot be seen anymore on the surface.
The locals are worried that the toxins will be present even after the departure of the blue-green algae. They fear that the fish could get contaminated, and the existing research is not providing clear answers to their questions.
The marine biologists admit the fact that the health risks of the algae outburst remain unknown. The blooming can produce thousands of chemical compounds, and no one knows what their combined effects could be. The research can be very complicated because one toxin could need up to 10 years to develop once it reached the human body.
Even if the research is still inconclusive, people from the communities affected by the blooms are very convinced of the fact that their health is at risk. That awful alga smell is a good-enough reason for them.
Image Source: Wikipedia