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Dr Judy Westrick from the Department of Chemistry and Environmental Sciences at Lake Superior State University will be giving a seminar on January 27 as a part of the NOAA/ University of Michigan Great Lakes and Human Health Seminar Series.

Please find details of her talk listed below.

Title: "Update on a National Preliminary Algal Toxin Occurance Study that Monitored Source and Distribution Waters"

Speaker: *Judy A. Westrick*, Lake Superior State University, Department of Chemistry and Environmental Sciences, Sault Sainte Marie, MI

Date: Friday, January 27
Time: 1030 AM

Location: Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory, 2205 Commonwealth Blvd., Ann Arbor, MI, 48105

This is one of the Ocean and Human Health special topic seminars.

Title: "Update on a national preliminary algal toxin occurance study that monitored source and distribution waters"

Speaker: *Judy A. Westrick*, Lake Superior State University, Department of Chemistry and Environmental Sciences, Sault Sainte Marie, MI

Cyanobacterial blooms occur worldwide in marine, brackish, and fresh waters. At least one-third of these genera are capable of producing toxins. In 1998 and 2005, fresh water algal toxins were added to the Contaminant Candidate List (CCL) by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA). Shortly after the 1998 announcement, a priority list was released that included five hepatotoxins, microcystin-LR, -RR, -LA, -YR, and cyclindrospermopsin, and the neurotoxin anatoxin-a. Current World Health Organization (WHO) monitoring guidelines incorporate a sequence of alert levels based on algal cell counts and/or taste and odor production that were established in 1993. These alert levels start at cell counts of 2000 units/mL and increase the frequency of monitoring. We describe a preliminary study funded by the USEPA to evaluate the prevalence of the algal toxin microcystin in drinking water supplies. An Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbant Assay (ELISA) was used to screen the source and distribution water samples for microcystin. The ELISA kit has a range limit of 0.05 ppb to 0.83 ppb microcystin. Total and toxin-producing algal counts were conducted on weekly source and distribution water samples from utilities located in five US states. Four of the five utilities experienced algal blooms in their source water. All of these conventional plants effectively removed the algae and all distribution water samples showed microcystin levels below the detection limit of 0.05 ppb. Four of the utilities source water did show detectable levels of microcystin within the range limits of the kit. Selected source water samples were analyzed by high pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC). We describe this HPLC method capable of quantifying intracellular microcystin toxin variants, as well as cylindrospermopsin and anatoxin-a, and compare it to the ELISA. The WHO algal toxin monitoring framework and monitoring cost was evaluated against for different analytical methods and scenarios.

If you have any questions or concerns, please email me at kanika.suri@noaa.gov; or call 734-741-2147. Also, if you are interested in going out for lunch with Dr. Westrick after her talk, please RSVP by Thursday, January 26.

For more information about the seminar series, please visit our website at http://www.glerl.noaa.gov/news/seminars/


Kanika Suri
Center of Excellence for Great Lakes and Human Health (CEGLHH)
2205 Commonwealth Blvd.
Ann Arbor, MI


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