The US Geological Survey and Environmental Protection Agency conducted a survey of cyanotoxin concentrations in 1,161 lakes and reservoirs across the continental US throughout 2007.
Cyanotoxins are a suite of compounds produced by cyanobacteria, microscopic algae, which pose a potential health risk to humans and animals. Cyanotoxin concentrations can spike after harmful algal blooms (HABS) and exposure has been associated with neurological damage, liver damage, and cancer promotion.
One of the World Health Organization’s criteria for measuring recreational risk of cyanotoxins is microcystin concentration. This study found microcystin producing algae in 1,102 lakes, and detected microcystin in 405 of lakes sampled. However, only 12 of the lakes sampled exceeded the moderate to high risk threshold for microcystin. While the risk assessment based on microcystin is low, there are 4 other identifiable groups of cyanotoxins that have yet to be included in the criteria for exposure risk.
Original research paper can be found here: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1568988315300883
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