CDC Lake O study researches blue-green algae impact on people

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention want to know if the blue-green algae living in Lake Okeechobee affects the health of people living around it.

Many have questions about the blue-green algae that plagued our waterways. Some people call it toxic. That is why Rep. Francis Rooney asked the CDC to study what effects it could have on our health.

Not the green gunk itself, but what it might seep into the air. CDC scientists did a similar study in California in 2007. They did not find much impact on the health of people living there. But, the scientists did notice boats and other forms of recreation kicked up toxins into the air.

Gary Long, a fishing guide, said he has never had a problem with the blue-green algae on his breathing.

As a local fishing guide, Long is on Lake O more often than most. While Long has not noticed any effects personally, he supports the study. Even if it means being one of 50 participants subjected to surveys, blood samples, and pulmonary tests.

“I would be involved in it,” Long said. “I’d like to see this lake straightened out.”

At the end of the day, the people who live and breath close to Lake O hope the second time around, the CDC gets some answers.

The CDC is looking for 50 people to participate in the study. It hopes to do the research during the bloom season, which runs from March to October. Learn more and provide a comment here.

Reporter:Janae Muchmore
Writer:Michael Mora
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