Martin County air quality test results released

Posted at 4:00 PM, Jul 26, 2016

Martin County has released results from recent air quality tests.

Conducted by Enviro Team North America, the county wanted to know, among other things, if algae could be inhaled.

Also, water quality samples were collected at two sites.

The county said these were the results:

-Hydrogen Sulfide - Levels were discernable at levels which may be intolerable for individuals with respiratory conditions and asthmatics.

-Water Toxins - Microcystin levels in the algal water samples present a significant health threat upon direct exposure or ingestion. The water results indicate extremely high levels of Microcystin toxins in the accumulated algae areas, reported at 100-1000 times higher than the recreational guidance levels of 10 micrograms/liter.

-Airborne Toxins - Microcystin levels in the air were identified, indicating that toxins can become aerosolized when agitated. It should be noted that there are no set standards for inhalation risk by any federal, state or local regulatory agency. We defer to our public health authorities for inhalation avoidance or inhalation risk concerns.

-Particulates - Measured respirable particle concentrations are within an expected range for an outdoor environment, however, increased particle concentrations measured by water pump discharge associated with algae removal technologies suggest that further study should be performed to determine what impact this may have on human, animal exposure and/or the environment.

-Volatile Organic Compounds- The total volatile organic compounds were not detectable.

Two state agencies are reviewing the results.  

Martin County advises people and animals to avoid contact with areas where algae is present.