New Evidence that Blue Green Algae may Contribute to ALS Diseases

Cyanobacteria or Blue Green Algae are thriving in our nations lakes as they become more Eutrophic with age.  It has been known for years that these species produce toxins that can impact animal and human health in the short term if ingested.  There are a number of lake closures every summer because of these toxic blooms.  Now, researchers have found that longer term health impacts may occur.  A number of researchers are keying in on compounds that may cause ALS diseases such as Alzheimer’s.  They have discovered that one of the key causes is a chemical called BMAA and this compound is produced by cyanobacteria.  Lakes that serve as potable water reservoirs or where drinking water may move from the lake to shallow wells is one possible route of exposure.  Another is ingesting fish that live in these waters and may bioaccumulate BMAA.  For a more detailed look at this go to http://thedartmouth.com/2011/06/28/news/ALS

Fortunately, there are a number of technologies to combat toxic algae blooms.  One of the newest technologies is Phoslock, a material that targets and removes phosphorus pollution from lake systems.  Phosphorus is a key nutrient that allows toxic algae to flourish when present in large qualities in a lake system.  Aquatechnex biologists introduced Phoslock to the US market in 2010 and have noted great success removing phosphorus from lakes in the Western United States.  For more information on this technology contact [email protected]

 

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  1. […] Aquatechnex biologists often face management challenges on euptrophic lake systems we encounter.  Increasingly, these nutrient rich lake systems shift to systems dominated by Blue Green Algae or Cyanobacteria.  In addition to interfering with many of the beneficial uses of the lake, these organisms pose a severe threat to human health.  In the short term, these organisms produce a number of toxins that can have an acute impact on water users.  There are significant numbers of animal deaths reported each year from ingesting lake water during bloom conditions.  In recent years the first human fatalities have been documented from the direct exposure.  In addition, there are now long term impacts associated with these toxins (see http://aquatechnex.wordpress.com/2011/06/28/new-evidence-that-blue-green-algae-may-contribute-to-als…) […]

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