Study to explore optimal methods for monitoring cyanotoxins

Posted May 4, 2018

SCCWRP and its partners will seek to develop more robust field methods for monitoring cyanotoxins in aquatic environments during a new study kicking off this summer in the Los Angeles region.

The three-year study involves deploying passive sampling devices for several days to weeks to measure the integrative, average concentration of toxins present. Passive samplers are simple, easy-to-deploy devices that absorb organic contaminants over time, enabling them to capture evidence of toxic cyanobacterial blooms that may be quickly flushed out of water bodies.

Researchers will evaluate the performance of two types of passive sampling devices – resin-based Solid Phase Adsorption Toxin Tracking (SPATT) devices, which SCCWRP has helped transition into use for routine monitoring, and film-based devices, which have the potential to provide more quantitative measurements of toxin levels. SCCWRP has been working to adapt film-based passive samplers for sediment contamination monitoring as well.

Researchers are interested in using passive sampling devices to provide additional insights into the dynamic nature of cyanotoxin-producing bloom events. By contrast, analyzing water samples collected in the field is able to provide concentration data for a single point in time.

Cyanotoxins threaten the health of wildlife, domestic pets, livestock and humans who come into contact with them.

More news related to: Climate Change, Eutrophication, Harmful Algal Blooms