What will happen if I drink algal bloom water?

This seems to be the question on everybody’s mind. So what can happen if I swim in or swallow some water containing toxin producing dinoflagellates during a red time or algal bloom?

The general consensus seems to be that one can go to the beach when a red tide is present but some people may show some respiratory effects such as coughing or sneezing. This however should clear up by itself after leaving the beach. Can you swim or surf in it? The answer is, yes, but as for everything else, there are exceptions to the rule. Some people may experience skin irritations and burning eyes and well as respiratory irritation. So it is best, as in most cases, to exercise some common sense. If you are prone to such conditions, avoid the situation. The upside is that one could not drink enough seawater to make you sick from the toxin. You might feel sick because you drank a lot of seawater, but common sense will prevail, correct?

For further information please see:

http://www.sccoos.org/data/habs/news.php
http://start1.org/red-tide/effects/
http://botany.si.edu/references/dinoflag/Taxa/Lpolyedrum.htm
http://deepseanews.com/2011/09/the-san-diego-red-tide-faq-from-scripps-professor-dr-peter-franks/

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