Jan 30, 2016 10:44 AM

UNH researchers find way to watch lakes for airborne toxins

The Associated Press

DURHAM — University of New Hampshire researchers have invented a low-cost method to monitor lakes for airborne toxins linked to liver problems.

Jim Haney, professor of biological sciences who directs the UNH Center for Freshwater Biology, and Amanda Murby, a doctoral student, have developed a portable system for collecting lake particles produced by cyanobacteria, or blue-green algae blooms.

Exposure to a lot of toxins produced by the algae blooms can cause liver damage. Smaller amounts can cause breathing problems, skin irritation, upset stomach, and other gastrointestinal problems.

The researchers have developed a system that can be used in the laboratory to measure the toxins from freshly collected water samples.

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