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Toxin Lab Helps Ohio Agencies Respond to Toxic Freshwater Algal Blooms

The National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science helped establish one of the few labs in the country that can analyze samples for the full spectrum of toxins produced by cyanobacterial harmful algal blooms. The lab, in the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry and its director Dr. Gregory Boyer, routinely services the needs of health and environmental agencies responding to cyanobacterial blooms and the threats associated with their toxins. In Ohio for example, Dr. Boyer and the Lower Great Lakes lab are working with state and local monitoring partners to respond to reoccurring, seasonal toxic cyanobacterial blooms plaguing Grand Lake St. Marys.

High levels of two cyanobacterial toxins, microcystin and anatoxin-a, found in the lake last spring and summer forced Ohio to advise the public to avoid direct water contact and to not eat fish caught in the lake. Last month, Ohio removed their fish advisory based on findings from the lab which showed no evidence of these two toxins in fish samples.

Dr. Boyer and the lab will continue to provide toxin analysis and expertise for additional efforts planned for Grand Lake St. Marys this year.

To read the Press Release about Ohio lifting its fish consumption advisory, click here.

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