Summer may be winding down, but toxic algae is just heating up. It feels like a broken record with year-after-year of worsening algal blooms nationwide. It begins when the temps heat up and releases toxic cyanobacteria, (otherwise known as HABs) into the water. These dangerous toxins can impact aquatic, pet, and human health. Just a few weeks ago, a family dog from Texas died from romping in a river filled with algal blooms. The owner is now warning other pet owners to be wary of toxic algae. Read on to see why there’s algal bloom outbreaks and what we can do to help.
Effects of Cyanobacteria on Health
An estimated 150 genera of cyanobacteria contain around 2000 species – 46 of these cyantoxins are considered toxic and producted by cyanobacteria, which causes health issues. That may seem like a small percentage, but it only takes one to infiltrate a public lake. When the bacteria increase, the toxic effect grows worse. Once the bacteria are ingested, even if it’s a small amount you accidently swallow or eat from contaminated shellfish can wreak havoc on your system. It can have a mild effect or a severe one, depending on the state of your health.
For pets, children, and the elderly, the toxin can be severe enough to cause:
- Nervous system effects
- Respiratory illness
- Severe skin disease
Why Toxic Algae Kills
It’s sad to hear a beloved pet died from just swimming in a river for a short period of time. We see it all the time and it makes us cringe and want to shout it out to take algal blooms seriously. One day it could be a family pet, the next day, an immune system-challenged beloved family member or friend. That green-blue algae are not innocent – they can kill. Here’s why.
When an algal bloom breaks out in public waterways, in some instances, it can be severe enough to release high amounts of cyanobacteria into the water, thus producing cyanotoxins – mainly neurotoxins, hepatoxins, or dermatoxins. During daytime, blooming cyanobacteria saturate the water with oxygen. However, at night, respiring aquatic organisms can deplete the oxygen, so sensitive species of fish die. Cycling water acidity during a bloom can also increase the pH to 9 or more during the day, while dropping to low at night – this further stress the ecosystem. And for the first time ever in 2010, marine animals died from ingesting cyanotoxins.
ATS Innova™ Can Reduce Worsening Algal Blooms
If you’re dealing with algal blooms affecting the waterways in your community, please contact ATS Innova at 855.215.4600. When you call us, you’ll get a water expert who offers a free consultation and help to steer you to the right solution. We hope to hear from you soon.