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Human Fatalities from Cyanobacteria : Chemical and Biological Evidence for Cyanotoxins

By Carmichael, Wayne W.

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Book Id: WPLBN0000236604
Format Type: PDF eBook
File Size: 0.1 MB
Reproduction Date: 2005
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Title: Human Fatalities from Cyanobacteria : Chemical and Biological Evidence for Cyanotoxins  
Author: Carmichael, Wayne W.
Language: English
Subject: Government publications, United Nations., United Nations. Office for Disarmament Affairs
Collections: Government Library Collection, Disarmament Documents
Publication Date:
Publisher: United Nations- Office for Disarmament Affairs (Unoda)


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Carmichael, W. W. (n.d.). Human Fatalities from Cyanobacteria : Chemical and Biological Evidence for Cyanotoxins. Retrieved from

Government Reference Publication

Excerpt: Poisonings by waterblooms of toxic cyanobacteria (cyanobacteria toxin poisonings; CTP) are a significant part of the concern over harmful algal blooms (1?4). The toxins, called cyanotoxins, are responsible for intermittent but repeated widespread poisonings of wild and domestic animals and aquacultured fish. Cyanotoxins include neurotoxic anatoxin-a and anatoxin-a(s), paralytic shellfish poisons (PSP; saxitoxin and analogues), and hepatotoxic microcystins, nodularins, and cylindrospermopsins (1). Human poisonings have, in the past, been suspected but not confirmed due to a lack of information regarding vectors or circumstances that would confirm the presence of cyanotoxins in human food or water supplies, plus a shortage of appropriate methods of detection. Because most CTP occur only when waterblooms accumulate as thick surface scums, humans do not experience acute intoxication because they generally avoid contact with such high cell concentrations. In addition, drinking water supplies usually receive a degree of treatment that prevents high concentrations of cyanotoxins from being present. This spares humans from severe poisoning episodes by the oral route. However, the oral route of exposure is not the only one possible for humans.


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