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ANHE Nurses Respond to Algae Outbreaks

In response to the excellent OpEd written by Betsy Marville and published in the Sun Sentinel,  Time to push back on Trump’s attack on clean water. Think of our children:

Thank you for publishing on the importance of clean water and children’s health. Here in Florida we rely on clean water not just for drinking and bathing but also as an important part of our economy, with visitors coming from around the world to take advantage of our beautiful beaches. Unfortunately, due to climate change and continued pollution from agricultural runoff we are now experiencing more frequent and severe algal outbreaks. These outbreaks pose a significant threat to Floridians with exposures to cyanobacteria, or blue-green algae, causing a variety of health impacts including rashes, flu-like symptoms, respiratory irritation, and neurological impacts. Fish caught in water with algal outbreaks are toxic to ingest. We need our elected officials to take these outbreaks seriously and fight back against efforts to weaken the Clean Water Act. The health of our state is depending on them.

And in Ohio:

As seen in the recent video series of residents in Toledo, Algae, Water, and Health – Voices from the Community,  the public still expresses concern over the algae outbreak in 2014 that left over 400,000 residents without access to clean, safe drinking water. Algae outbreaks, also known as cyanobacteria, produce carcinogenic toxins that can be harmful if absorbed through the skin, inhaled, or swallowed. Toxic algae contaminates the water our children drink, can cause asthma like symptoms and possibly exposing them to carcinogenic toxins. And Toledo is not alone. Across the country, several communities are without the necessary resources to upgrade their water infrastructure and protect their businesses, their environment, and their health. As nurses, we call on our elected officials to support strong policies and regulations that address this growing problem. Without strong action now, this problem will only grow and more communities will experience these toxic outbreaks.