Science Inventory

Associations between Chlorophyll a and various microcystin-LR health advisory concentrations

Citation:

Hollister, Jeff AND B. Kreakie. Associations between Chlorophyll a and various microcystin-LR health advisory concentrations. F1000 Research. Faculty of 1000, London, Uk, 5:151, (2016).

Impact/Purpose:

This work will have an impact on the management of water resources by providing easily obtained proxies of microcystin-LR. This will allow a greater number of lakes to be assessed for the potential to exceed several published health advisory guidelines.

Description:

Cyanobacteria harmful algal blooms (cHABs) are associated with a wide range of adverse health effects that stem mostly from the presence of cyanotoxins. To help protect against these impacts, several health advisory levels have been set for some toxins. In particular, one of the more common toxins, microcystin, has several advisory levels set for drinking water and recreational use. However, compared to other water quality measures, field measurements of microcystin are not commonly available due to cost and advanced understanding required to interpret results. Addressing these issues will take time and resources. Thus, there is utility in finding indicators of microcystin that are already widely available, can be estimated quickly and in situ, and used as a first defense against high levels of microcystin. Chlorophyll a is commonly measured, can be estimated in situ, and has been shown to be positively associated with microcystin. In this paper, we use this association to provide estimates of chlorophyll a concentrations that are indicative of a higher probability of exceeding select health advisory concentrations for microcystin-LR. Using the 2007 National Lakes Assessment and a conditional probability approach, we identify chlorophyll a concentrations that are more likely than not to be associated with an exceedance of a microcystin health advisory level. We look at the recent US EPA health advisories for drinking water as well as the World Health Organization levels for drinking water and recreational use and identify a range of chlorophyll a thresholds. A 50% chance of exceeding one of the specific advisory microcystin concentrations of 0.3, 1, 1.6, and 2 μg/L is associated with chlorophyll a concentration thresholds of 24.64, 65.6, 89.71, and 94.93, respectively. When managing for these various microcystin levels, exceeding these reported chlorophyll a concentrations should be a trigger for further testing and possible management action.

URLs/Downloads:

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Record Details:

Record Type: DOCUMENT (JOURNAL/PEER REVIEWED JOURNAL)
Product Published Date: 06/13/2016
Record Last Revised: 06/13/2016
OMB Category: Other
Record ID: 311834

Organization:

U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

NATIONAL HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS RESEARCH LABORATORY

ATLANTIC ECOLOGY DIVISION

MONITORING AND ASSESSMENT BRANCH