Health Alert For Blue-Green Algal Bloom Toxin, Cyanobacteria, In Palm Beach County
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There was a health alert issued for blue-green algal toxins in two canals in Palm Beach County on Friday, June 11, 2021. Blue-green algae is a type of bacteria that is common in the freshwater environment found in Florida. It can be found year-round but is more frequent in the summer and fall. The toxins were found in a water sample taken on Tuesday, June 8, 2021, in the canal near US 1 and Arlington Road and the canal near South Military Trail and Palm Beach Canal Road. The entire Okeechobee Utility Authority service area is also under warning until further notice due to loss of pressure throughout the system. People were advised to:
- Avoid drinking, swimming, wading or using personal watercraft in waters with algae blooms
- Wash your skin and clothing if you have contact with algae or discolored or smelly water.
- Keep pets away from the area.
- Do not cook or clean dishes with water contaminated with algal blooms.
- Eating fillets from healthy fish caught in freshwater lakes experiencing blooms is safe. Rinse fish fillets with tap or bottle water, throw out the guts and cook well.
- Do not eat shellfish in waters with algal blooms.
To report a green-algae bloom, call the Department of Environmental Protection at: 855-305-3903 or click HERE.
Many members of the public want to know the health effects they could face if they are in the vulnerable groups affected by the toxin found in West Palm Beach’s drinking water, in the video published on June 3, 2021, “What are health effects of toxin found West Palm Beach’s water supply?” below:
West Palm Beach residents who are affected by a major drinking water advisory picked up cases of bottled water on Monday at Gaines Park, in the video published on May 31, 2021, “Water distribution continues in West Palm Beach“, below:
Dr. Poonam Kalkat, Director of Public Utilities for the City of West Palm Beach spoke to WPTV after the city issued a drinking water advisory, in the video published on May 28, 2021, “Public utilities director speaks on West Palm Beach water advisory“, below:
West Palm Beach’s drinking water advisory and Okeechobee County’s precautionary boil water notice continue, in the video published on June 1, 2021, “West Palm Beach’s drinking water advisory continues“, below:
in-depth look at the timeline of events surrounding the toxin and talked to one expert who says the city needs a better early-warning system, in the video published on June 2, 2021, “Water toxicology expert questions West Palm Beach delaying water“, below:
Vulnerable groups are:
- Children under six
- Nursing and expecting moms
To better understand the danger of Blue-Green Algae, let’s take a look at these videos below:
- The Department of Water Resources regularly tests the waterways of the California State Water Project for blue-green algae (cyanobacteria), and posts warning signs when the water is considered unsafe. Symptoms of exposure to Blue-Green Algae toxins in human: rashes, vomiting, diarrhea, cold & flu-like symptoms. Symptoms of exposure to Blue-Green Algae toxins in pets: vomiting, diarrhea, weakness, difficulty breathing, seizures or death. This video helps the public know how to spot the algae and understand why it’s important to heed posted warning signs, in the video published on Oct 4, 2019, “Understanding the Dangers of Blue-Green Algae (Cyanobacteria)“, below:
- Pond scum is usually just a nuisance, but it can become dangerous. Check out the chemistry behind these harmful algal blooms. When the environmental conditions are right, blue-green algae (which are actually blue-green bacteria) can blossom into harmful algal blooms. These blooms can release all sorts of deadly poisons into the environment. In this episode, SOC’s Sophia Cai explains how human health could be at risk, with help from SOC’s structure-drawing extraordinaire, Lauren Wolf, in the video published on June 2, 2016, “What Makes Blue-Green Algae Dangerous? – Speaking of Chemistry“, below;
- An informational video from CPW’s water quality section on blue-green algae. Toxic algae blooms are seen across the United States and have become more prevalent over the past decade. Colorado Parks and Wildlife started monitoring for toxic algae blooms starting in 2015, in the video published on Aug 31, 2020, “Explaining blue-green algae“, below:
- There are no quick and easy solutions to South Florida’s toxic water crisis, and scientists say it’s already posing health risks you may not expect, in the video published on Nov 20, 2018, “Health effects of Florida’s blue-green algae“, below:
- Rain, heat and pollutants have prompted an outbreak of toxic algae in Florida. Lawmakers there want the governor to declare a state of emergency over Lake Okeechobee’s toxic algae problem. CBS News national correspondent Manuel Bojorquez reports, in the video published on July 6, 2018, “Toxic algae bloom threatens Florida waters“, below:
Once again, with regard to decrease the growth rate of blue-green algae and potential health hazard due to toxin cyanobacteria, I’d like to ask for consideration of using floating solar as the mechanism to reduce blue-green algal growth while generating power for any of the freshwater region currently with cyanobacteria toxin issue and share one of our earlier posts on OUC’s Floating Solar As Part of the March Toward 100% Renewable Energy.
Gathered, written, and posted by Windermere Sun-Susan Sun Nunamaker
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