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Study finds algae toxins go deep into human lungs

Posted at 5:40 PM, Nov 29, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-30 06:41:19-05

Mary Radabaugh is not a researcher or a scientist, but she does know about toxic algae.

"It's been interesting we probably know way more about it then we should," said Radabaugh.

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For more than a decade Central Marine in Stuart has had its fair share of toxic algae in the water.

"In five minutes your voice became raspy your eyes were watering and you got a violent headache," Radabaugh recalled.

Now, a new study by researchers at Florida Gulf Coast University found the toxins inhaled could go deep into the lungs.

"It's basically really fine dust that you'll breathe in just like any other dust particles," Dr. Mike Parsons said.

Parsons is a professor of marine science at FGCU. He says in late September he led a group taking samples on the west coast of Florida.

"But it did demonstrate that this vector was present," he said.

Parsons says it's too early to determine what health effects the toxins could have but says his results will merit more research.

This is something that Radabaugh will be eagerly awaiting.

"Just maybe we can take a step forward," Radabaugh said.

Parsons says he's been contacted by several medical professionals. He says he's hoping to partner with researchers at FAU Harbor Branch to expand his research.