MA Statewide Surveillance of Health Concerns & Harmful Algal Blooms

Harmful Algal blooms (HABs) caused by cyanobacteria are a public health and environmental concern in surface waters.
Cyanotoxins have been associated with human illness, the death of domestic animals, and impact drinking and recreational waters.

Cyanobacteria are capable of producing toxins that cause adverse health effects to humans and animals through both acute and chronic exposure. Fuss & O’Neill assisted the Massachusetts Department of Health (MDPH)/Bureau of Environmental Health (BEH) with surveillance of surface waters with algae blooms. This includes observation of physical waterbody conditions; biomonitoring, including algal identification, enumeration, and toxin analysis; and collecting and analyzing water samples for chemical parameters. Thousands of individual water samples were collected at dozens of lakes and ponds throughout Massachusetts. Fuss & O’Neill is also collaborating with MDPH on the analysis and interpretation of data collected as part of the long-term monitoring effort.