TC PALM: Health effects of breathing toxic algae in St. Lucie River is focus of Harbor Branch study

TC Palm: Written by Tyler Treadway. September 14, 2018.

If you've been around blue-green algae blooms, chances are you've breathed in toxins.

Everyone tested so far in a study of people who live and work around algae blooms in the St. Lucie River had "detectable levels" of the toxin microcystin in their noses, said Adam Schaefer, a Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute epidemiologist.

"Preliminary results suggest microcystin is definitely airborne," Schaefer said Friday as people were giving blood, urine and nasal swab samples at the Florida Sportsman magazine office in Stuart.

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