Other threats to human health are posed by blue-green algal toxins in drinking water which may cause severe damage or be tumor promoters.
- Amnesic shellfish poisoning – ASP.
- Ciguatera fish poisoning – CFP.
- Diarrhetic shellfish poisoning – DSP.
- Neurotoxic shellfish poisoning – NSP.
- Paralytic shellfish poisoning – PSP.
What harmful effects can algae have on humans?
Algae-affected water may not be suitable for drinking, recreation or agricultural use. Contact with affected water can cause skin irritation, mild respiratory effects and hayfever-like symptoms. Ingesting toxins can cause gastroenteritis symptoms, such as vomiting, diarrhoea, fever and headaches.
Can you get sick from algae?
Yes, it is possible for blue-green algae to cause illness. Blue-green algae are capable of producing several different toxins. Neurotoxins These toxins affect the central nervous system and can cause seizures, paralysis, respiratory failure or cardiac arrest.
How are algae responsible for causing human disease?
Some algae produce toxins. These toxins can enter the food chain through shellfish or fish. Eating the toxins can cause a variety of severe conditions in humans resulting, in some cases, in paralysis and even death. The risk of illness is highest when algal blooms form in sea or fresh water.