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Health Effects from Exposure to Aerosolized Cyanobacterial Toxins


  • The potential health effects of cyanobacterial toxin exposure have yet to be determined.
  • Abt is conducting a field based, integrated, cross-sectional epidemiology exposure study.
  • Work is ongoing.
The Challenge

Toxic cyanobacteria blooms are becoming increasingly problematic as a result of climate change processes and reduction of oxygen in bodies of water around the globe; Florida has been significantly impacted. The health effects of toxin exposure, particularly in the air, are not well known, so the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention’s National Center for Environmental Health asked Abt to investigate the potential effects of these blooms.

The Approach

A multidisciplinary team will conduct a cross-section, field- based epidemiology study to assess the exposure and health effects of cyanobacterial bloom in Florida. Air monitoring will be conducted, and biological specimens and environmental samples will be collected—along with participant surveys—during an algal bloom. Consistent with our deep history of implementing research, the team will work with partners to ensure local communities are informed and that their concerns are addressed.

The Results

Based on the field epidemiology studies, the project team will work with the CDC, communities and partners to report and share key findings. Along with releasing reports anticipated in 2022, Abt will develop outreach materials and other communications products to help raise awareness of the health effects of harmful algal blooms and how to reduce exposure.