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Experts discuss health effects from toxic algae blooms

Posted at 10:42 PM, Jun 24, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-24 22:42:10-04

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- There are still questions surrounding the impact toxic blue-green algae has on our health.

“I’m very very very very concerned with the water and the toxic foolishness that’s in the water, and I just think that’s its something everyone needs to be worried about,” said Rose Young.

Rose Young and about 300 people came out to Calusa Waterkeeper’s Public Health Summit centering around harmful blue-green algae.

“We haven’t had an algae bloom breakout this summer yet, it’s very important for people to understand the serious potential impacts,” said Ruth Watkins, Calusa Waterkeeper.

To kick off the event, the documentary Toxic Puzzle was shown — about a scientist’s search of an environmental toxin that might be causing a rise in Alzheimer’s Disease.

“There’s probably a lot of other toxins in these blue-green algae blooms that haven’t been discovered yet,” said Dr. Larry Brand, Professor of Marine Biology and Ecology.

Dr. Larry brand says one toxin that has been found in blue-green algae, microcystin, “that’s the best studied one, that can lead to liver damage and liver cancer,” said Dr. Larry Brand, Professor of Marine Biology and Ecology.

"A lot of science is yet to be done to learn how it’s effecting us, and this chronic exposure,” said Jason Pim, Cape Coral.

Scientists advise not to swim or eat fish from water polluted with blue-green algae.

“When the water quality goes, our lifestyle goes, our tourism goes, are retail business goes, out restaurant business goes, our home prices plummet, so it’s in all our best interest to help protect our waters” said Marianne Parsons, Cape Coral.