Study to explore potentially cheaper, more precise methods for quantifying cyanotoxins in lakes, streams

Posted November 2, 2018

SCCWRP and its partners have launched a three-year study to evaluate potentially cheaper, more precise sampling and analysis methods for tracking cyanotoxin levels in streams and lakes in the Los Angeles area.

The study, launched in September, will compare the performance of new, film-based passive sampling devices with resin-based passive sampling devices known as Solid Phase Adsorption Toxin Tracking (SPATT). SPATT devices, which are commonly used for harmful algal blooms (HABs) monitoring, are difficult to calibrate and provide only semi-quantitative estimates of toxin levels in the water column and in sediment.

SCCWRP and its partners will quantify cyanotoxin levels using two different types of analytical methods – an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) that will screen for broad classes of algal toxins, and liquid chromatography mass spectrometry (LC-MS) that will focus on a handful of individual cyanotoxins.

Film-based passive sampling is envisioned as a cost-effective approach to routinely monitor toxic cyanobacterial blooms in streams, recreational lakes and reservoirs across Southern California. Passive sampling devices measure the freely dissolved concentrations of algal toxins and other organic contaminants, even when present at low levels.

More news related to: Emerging Contaminants, Eutrophication, Harmful Algal Blooms