Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Toxicon. 2010 May;55(5):1024-34. doi: 10.1016/j.toxicon.2009.07.021. Epub 2009 Jul 29.

The state of U.S. freshwater harmful algal blooms assessments, policy and legislation.

Author information

  • 1SolarBee, Inc., 3225 Highway 22, Dickinson, ND 58601, USA.


The incidence of harmful algal blooms (HABs) is increasing in the United States and worldwide. HAB toxins cause a substantial but unquantified amount of human and animal morbidity and mortality from exposures in recreational, commercial, drinking-source and potable waters. HAB biomass and toxins threaten the sustainability of aquatic ecosystems. U.S. Congressional legislation mandated the establishment of a National Research Plan for Coastal Harmful Algal Blooms, but no similar plan exists for freshwater HABs (FHABs). Eutrophication and FHABs are conservatively estimated to cost the U.S. economy 2.2-4.6 billion dollars annually. A National Research Plan for Freshwater Harmful Algal Blooms is needed to develop U.S. policy and regulations or guidelines to confront FHAB risks. This report reviews the state of FHAB occurrence, risk and risk management assessments in the U.S. Research is identified that must be accomplished to characterize occurrence and risks, and develop cost effective strategies for preventing, suppressing and mitigating FHABs. U.S. Congressional legislation is needed to mandate a National Research Plan for FHABs, establish a timeline for developing policy and fund competitive research-grant programs. The research results will provide a sound scientific basis for making policy determinations and implementing risk management strategies. Successfully confronting FHAB risks will strengthen the U.S. economy, protect human and animal health and help ensure the sustainability of our Nation's freshwater bodies.

Copyright 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk