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Airborne Toxins Detected At Worst Algae Sites

At Central Marine the algae exudes an overpowering smell. Photo by Amy Green

Toxins have been detected in the air at four Treasure Coast sites where a toxic algae bloom has accumulated in high densities.

A contractor for Martin County tested sites for toxins in the air and water and also for hydrogen sulfide.

Results found the algae’s toxins can become airborne when the algae is agitated, although there are no government standards defining the risk of inhalation.

The water was determined to be extremely toxic. Hydrogen sulfide was identified at a level that could be intolerable for those with respiratory conditions.

The toxic algae bloom has gripped the southern Indian River Lagoon and St. Lucie River for several weeks. It is expected to linger through the summer.



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Amy Green

About Amy Green

Reporter and Producer

Amy Green covers the environment for 90.7 News. She is an award-winning journalist who has worked as a regular contributor for NPR, PEOPLE, Newsweek, The New York Times, The Christian Science Monitor and many other top news organizations. Her in-progress book on the Everglades is under contract with Johns ... Read Full Bio »