Environmental toxins pose a significant threat to the health of millions of Floridians. One of the most sinister toxins is known as a harmful algae bloom (HAB). Algae blooms can release toxic chemicals such as microcystins that can be found in bodies of water. Harmful contact can include but is not limited to ingestion, inhalation, and physical touch. Corporations can be held liable for releasing them into the air or water.
In order to get the best results for an environmental toxic tort, we must pay attention to the evolving science around these potential hazards. To that end, Florida Atlantic University is spearheading a study about the short-term and long-term effects of algal blooms.
With additional funding from the Florida Department of Health, FAU is collaborating with researchers at Florida Gulf Coast University to facilitate a comprehensive multisite study.
While the potentially harmful nature of algal blooms has been looked at before, Professor Rebecca S. Koszalinski believes that prior research is just the tip of the iceberg.
“We have minimal data on health outcomes related to human exposure, despite the prevalence and intensity of cyanobacterial blooms in South Florida,” Dr. Koszalinski said.
Joining the study
The study wants to examine several variables, such as length of exposure to microcystins, type of interaction, and species of algae. Additionally, FAU also wants to determine how pre-existing medical conditions like asthma or COVID-19 can leave a person more susceptible to the effects of algal blooms.
The research team currently has an active cohort of 150 participants and is recruiting 30 additional participants in 2023. They will be recruiting and collecting data at the Cape Coral Public Works Department, 815 Nicholas Parkway East, on Thursday, Oct. 26, beginning at 8 a.m. Appointments are available and walk-ins are welcome.
To learn more about environmental toxins and the legal recourse a person has if exposed, please visit our website, or call us at (561) 655-1990.