Prospective study of acute health effects in relation to exposure to cyanobacteria

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Journal titleScience of the Total Environment
Pages397403; # of pages: 7
SubjectBathing; Cyanobacteria; Cyanobacterial cells; Gastrointestinal symptoms; Microcystins; Poisson regression; Recreational water; Risk management plans; Lakes; Muscle; Potable water; Risk management; Toxic materials; Water treatment plants; Health; drinking water; microcystin; bathing water; cyanobacterium; disease prevalence; health risk; lake water; symptom; water treatment; abdominal cramp; abdominal pain; article; bacterial count; bacterium contamination; Canada; concentration (parameters); cyanobacterium; diarrhea; ear disease; eye; fever; gastrointestinal symptom; headache; health hazard; human; lake; mouth ulcer; myalgia; nausea; nonhuman; planning; priority journal; prospective study; recreation; respiratory system; risk assessment; risk management; skin disease; symptom; vomiting; water contamination; water treatment; Canada
AbstractWe conducted a study to investigate the relationship between exposure to cyanobacteria and microcystins and the incidence of symptoms in humans living in close proximity to lakes affected by cyanobacteria. The design was a prospective study of residents living around three lakes (Canada), one of which has a water treatment plant supplying potable water to local residents. Participants had to keep a daily journal of symptoms and record contact (full or limited) with the water body. Samples were collected to document cyanobacteria and microcystin concentrations. Symptoms potentially associated with cyanobacteria (gastrointestinal: 2 indices (GI1: diarrhea or abdominal pain or nausea or vomiting; GI2: diarrhea or vomiting or [nausea and fever] or [abdominal cramps and fever]); upper and lower respiratory tract; eye; ear; skin; muscle pain; headaches; mouth ulcers) were examined in relation with exposure to cyanobacteria and microcystin by using Poisson regression. Only gastrointestinal symptoms were associated with recreational contact. Globally, there was a significant increase in adjusted relative risk (RR) with higher cyanobacterial cell counts for GI2 (<. 20,000. cells/mL: RR = 1.52, 95% CI = 0.65-3.51; 20,000-100,000. cells/mL: RR = 2.71, 95% CI = 1.02-7.16; >. 100,000. cells/mL: RR = 3.28, 95% CI = 1.69-6.37, p-trend. =. 0.001). In participants who received their drinking water supply from a plant whose source was contaminated by cyanobacteria, an increase in muscle pain (RR = 5.16; 95% CI = 2.93-9.07) and gastrointestinal (GI1: RR = 3.87; 95% CI = 1.62-9.21; GI2: RR = 2.84; 95% CI = 0.82-9.79), skin (RR = 2.65; 95% CI = 1.09-6.44) and ear symptoms (RR = 6.10; 95% CI = 2.48-15.03) was observed. The population should be made aware of the risks of gastrointestinal symptoms associated with contact (full or limited) with cyanobacteria. A risk management plan is needed for water treatment plants that draw their water from a source contaminated with cyanobacteria. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.
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AffiliationNational Research Council Canada (NRC-CNRC); Energy, Mining and Environment (EME-EME)
Peer reviewedYes
NPARC number21270807
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Record identifier9def25f4-3e6c-4c8c-9a8a-2fd7d93dca4c
Record created2014-02-17
Record modified2016-05-09
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