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Marine Algal Toxins: Origins, Health Effects, and Their Increased Occurrence
Frances M. Van Dolah
Environmental Health Perspectives
Vol. 108, Supplement 1: Reviews in Environmental Health, 2000 (Mar., 2000), pp. 133-141
Published by: The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3454638
Page Count: 9
Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
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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.
Environmental Health Perspectives © 2000 The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences