USEPA Issues Health Advisories for Cyanotoxins

Posted in: United States Water News, Water Contamination, Water Health Effects
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Article courtesy of AWWA | June 17, 2015 | AWWA | Shared as educational material

Today, USEPA issued health advisories for two cyanotoxins: microcystins and cylindrospermopsin. These non-regulatory levels are levels below which there are expected to be no health impacts. As part of an updated risk assessment process, EPA has issued two different advisory levels based upon a person’s age – one level for children under six years old, and a second level for children six and above and adults.

The health advisory levels, which are based upon 10 days of exposure, are:

  • 0.3µg/L for microcystin and 0.7µg/L for cylindrospermopsin for children less than six years old
  • 1.6 µg/L for microcystin and 3.0 µg/L for cylindrospermopsin for children six and up and adults

Supporting these numbers, EPA has issued two separate documents.  The first are the health advisories themselves, which explain the basis upon which EPA developed the levels. The second is a support document detailing EPA’s recommendation to utilities in managing cyanotoxins.

Utilities and those interested are also encouraged to review the recently published AWWA and Water Research Foundation’s Water Utility Manager’s Guide to Cyanotoxins, which is available as a free download.

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