FGCU Study: Airborne toxic cyanobacteria can travel more than a mile inland
FGCU research released Friday shows airborne cyanobacteria toxins can travel more than a mile inland, raising questions about health consequences for those exposed to the region’s recent massive blue-green algae blooms last year.
A bloom of Microcystis aeruginosa began in Lake Okeechobee in early June and was carried into the waters of the St. Lucie River and Caloosahatchee River via discharges from the lake directed by the Army Corps of Engineers.
The water had to move, the Corps explained, in order to prevent the Herbert Hoover Dike from failing and flooding the farming towns in the dike's shadow.
Scientists' air samplers found two blue-green algae toxins — Microcystin and BAMA — at the university’s Buckingham complex, said lead scientist Mike Parsons, a professor of marine biology. Both have been linked by some scientists to grave health problems, including liver cancer and neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s.