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EPA Issues Health Advisories to Protect Americans from Algal Toxins in Drinking Water

While in the last 20 years or so, bottled water has become the go-to choice for drinking water in America, tap water is still used in many of our daily lives. We use it to make tea, coffee, and low-calorie beverages. But in some locations and instances, our tap water can become toxic. According to the EPA, “Algal blooms in rivers, lakes, and bays sometimes produce harmful toxins.” Since these sources of tap water are often utilized, the EPA has seen fit to release information regarding safe levels of algal toxins in our tap water. According to the EPA, the acceptable level for algal toxins in our drinking water is “0.3 micrograms per liter for microcystin and 0.7 micrograms per liter for cylindrospermopsin as levels not to be exceeded in drinking water for children younger than school age. For all other ages, the health advisory values for drinking water are 1.6 micrograms per liter for microcystin and 3.0 micrograms per liter for cylindrospermopsin.” Exposure to these potentially harmful toxins has been shown to cause “gastroenteritis and liver and kidney damage.” It’s important to note that these levels are based on exposure of 10 days.

To read the official release from the EPA about the ideal algal levels in our drinking water, follow the link: