Chicago, Illinois, August 9, 2022
The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (Illinois EPA) and Illinois Department of Public Health (Illinois DPH) reminded residents and visitors last month to use caution in Illinois waterways this summer when harmful algal blooms (HABs) are possible.
HABs are overgrowths of algae in water that can occur almost anywhere. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) states that HABs are a major environmental problem in all 50 states and warns that algal blooms can be toxic to people and pets. Both should stay away from water that is green, scummy or smells bad.
According to the news release from the agencies in Illinois:
Young children, the elderly, and people with compromised immune systems are most at risk to adverse health effects attributable to algal toxins. Individuals are most often exposed to algal toxins while swimming or participating in other recreational activities in and on the water. The most common routes of exposure are direct skin contact, ingestion of contaminated water, or inhalation of water droplets in the air (e.g., while water skiing or tubing). Symptoms of exposure to algal toxins include rashes, hives, diarrhea, vomiting, coughing or wheezing. More severe symptoms may result from longer or greater amounts of exposure.
“Red tides, blue-green algae and cyanobacteria are all examples of HABs that can have a severe impact on human health, aquatic ecosystems and even local economies,” said Jason Dobranic, Ph.D., Vice President of Microbiology and Life Sciences at EMSL Analytical, Inc. “This is why the scientists at EMSL Analytical, with laboratories in Illinois and across the United States and Canada, offer a wide range of aquatic testing services. These include algal identification, algal biomass analysis and various algal toxin testing options.”
EMSL Analytical has also sponsored an educational video about harmful algal blooms that can be seen at: https://youtu.be/JF8UnMJ84HU
To learn more about testing for harmful algal blooms, toxins, and other microbial or chemical pollutants, please visit www.EMSL.com, email info@EMSL.com or call (800) 220-3675.
About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical is one of the leading testing laboratories throughout the United States and Canada. EMSL is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider specializing in fast laboratory results for mold, bacteria, Legionella, USP <797>, pathogens, asbestos, lead, soot, char & ash from fires, VOC’s, odors, radon, formaldehyde, indoor air quality, microbiology, environmental, industrial hygiene, radiological, food, beverage & consumer products, and material testing services for the identification of unknown substances. EMSL services both professionals and the general public. EMSL maintains an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies including, but not limited to A2LA, AIHA-LAP, LLC (AIHA-LAP, LLC EMLAP, AIHA-LAP, LLC IHLAP, AIHA-LAP, LLC ELLAP), NVLAP, CDC ELITE, CPSC, CA ELAP, NY ELAP, TX DOH, NJDEP, and multiple other state accrediting agencies. Please visit our website at www.EMSL.com for a complete listing of accreditations. In addition, EMSL carries a wide range of Sampling Equipment and Investigative Products for environmental professionals.