This past year has been particularly bad for toxic algae blooms along the Florida coast - and it isn't getting better just yet. Floridians and animals are now being affected by the bad air quality caused by Red Tide.
According to information shared by Fox News 13, air quality inspections have concluded that the toxins found within the polluted water are also drifting through the air in southwest Florida.
Scientists have warned Red Tide can cause liver damage and possibly brain damage in humans who come in contact with it, and it is well known that Red Tide can exuberate asthma and allergy symptoms from simply breathing it in.
But after volunteers who were exposed to breathing in the toxins stepped forward a series of experiments and studies suggested that liver and neurological damage can also happen to humans from breathing the toxins in.
In concentrated amounts, the toxins are powerful enough to kill local sea life and has been known to cause death and illness in pet dogs. Just in the past year, there was at least one confirmed case of a dog who had come in contact with blooms and died and several other confirmed illnesses.
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Red Tide is NOT gone in Florida! The southwest coast of Florida from Venice to Naples has higher concentrations of the algae and there are worries about it getting worse and coming closer to shore as the weather warms up. This bloom has been the deadliest for sea turtles, with almost 600 deaths directly related to red tide. Over 200 manatees have been killed, countless dolphins, and thousands of fish. #redtide #floridaredtide #florida #southwestflorida #seaturtles #manatee #dolphins #marinelife #saveourseas #sharks #savetheseaturtles #saltlife #oceanconservation #sharkconservation #climatechange #saveouroceans #protectwhatyoulove #redtidesucks #algae #seaturtle
The blooms are caused by the cyanobacteria, a bacteria that emits toxins that unlike the name "Red Tide" suggests, actually turns the water slimy and green.
Runoffs from leaking septic tanks and other polluted waters are the main "feeding" source for the bacteria.
What you can do to protect yourself from the toxins is avoid any beaches currently experiencing concentrated blooms particularly beaches in the mid-lower Gulf Coast which seemed to be hit the hardest, do not eat sea life that has been caught near or in effect waters, and if air quality is bad in your area you can wear a facemask.
To track current Red Tide blooms you can click here.