Researchers seeking way to diagnose algal toxin exposure

FILE - In this Aug. 3, 2014, file photo, the City of Toledo water intake crib is surrounded by algae in Lake Erie, about 2.5 miles off the shore of Curtice, Ohio. (AP Photo/Haraz N. Ghanbari, File)

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — With algae blooms likely to start forming on western Lake Erie this month, experts at the University of Toledo Medical Center are working to develop a test to diagnose people exposed to algal toxins. They call that a critical step in combatting a global problem.

Professor David Kennedy at the medical center tells The Blade newspaper that the research could put the school on the map because toxin-carrying algal blooms are on the rise around the world.

Nearly 500,000 people in the Toledo area were told to avoid tap water for three days in 2014 because it had been contaminated by an algal toxin called microcystin. But doctors were unable to attribute symptoms to the toxin because there’s no test for it.

 

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