Science

Florida Gov. Declares State Of Emergency Due To Toxic Algae: How This Affects The Human Population

By Adie Pieraz , Jul 07, 2016 05:00 AM EDT
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Lake Okeechobee expands the Florida counties of St. Lucie, Martin, Palm Beach and Lee. Unfortunately, these same counties are now under a state of emergency, as declared by Florida Governor Rick Scott. The emergency is stemming from an abundance of algae present in the waters, which has caused many inconveniences to the citizens of Florida.

According to Nature World News, Lake Okeechobee has toxin levels that are 20 times higher than the safety threshold set by the World Health Organization. This polluted and toxin-laden water is the reason behind the growth of algae in the water. To make matters worse, the recent downpour of rain has expanded the reach of Lake Okeechobee by at least a foot. This has made it worse for those living in the area.

One Martin county resident, Mary Radabaugh, shares that the smell alone is enough to make residents gag. She claims that there is no way to get rid of it, further stating that many residents smell the odor even in their offices. Radabaugh also complains that the algae caused many of her neighbors to have red eyes and scratchy throats.

Indeed, algae do have this effect on humans. As Biology Discussion shares, there are plenty of inconveniences that can be caused, if no action is taken soon. One not so serious effect is the deterioration of exposed fabrics.

Damp fabric is often left exposed for a longer amount of time than normal, especially with the rainy season coming. When wet clothes are left outside to dry, algae can sometimes grow on it, thus ruining it.

Another more serious way algae can affect humans is by damaging live stock in the water. Algae can block the gills of fish and deplete the level of oxygen in the water. As such, seafood could be out of the question right now in Florida.

In addition, certain types of algae have been proven to be poisonous. This makes it difficult not just for the animals to get clean drinking water, but for the humans as well.

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