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Environ Health Perspect. 2000 Mar;108 Suppl 1:133-41.

Marine algal toxins: origins, health effects, and their increased occurrence.

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  • 1Marine Biotoxins Program, NOAA National Ocean Service, Center for Coastal Environmental Health and Biomolecular Research, Charleston, South Carolina 29412, USA. fran.vandolah@noaa.gov

Abstract

Certain marine algae produce potent toxins that impact human health through the consumption of contaminated shellfish and finfish and through water or aerosol exposure. Over the past three decades, the frequency and global distribution of toxic algal incidents appear to have increased, and human intoxications from novel algal sources have occurred. This increase is of particular concern, since it parallels recent evidence of large-scale ecologic disturbances that coincide with trends in global warming. The extent to which human activities have contributed to their increase therefore comes into question. This review summarizes the origins and health effects of marine algal toxins, as well as changes in their current global distribution, and examines possible causes for the recent increase in their occurrence.

PMID:
10698729
PMCID:
PMC1637787
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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