An edition of: WaterAtlas.orgPresented By: Sarasota County, USF Water Institute

Water-Related News

Red Tide Study Shows Toxins, Potential Benefits

On Thursday, 22 investigators from eight agencies meeting at Mote Marine Laboratory in Sarasota unveiled the results of the biggest study ever of Florida's notoriously toxic algae....

The $15-million, decade-long study looked primarily at the human health effects rather than what causes Red Tide blooms. It found that the algae, known as Karenia brevis, contains at least 12 different toxins that can be harmful to humans.

On windy days during a Red Tide bloom, the toxins can be blown up to a mile inland. People with asthma and other respiratory ailments who inhale the toxins suffer more, and longer, than people who don't suffer from breathing problems. One hour of exposure can cause up to five hours of asthma attacks, the study found.

Remarkably, the research found that Red Tide also contains three antitoxins that could provide beneficial effects to humans. ...