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Red Tide Bloom Detected in Florida and Warning of Potential Respiratory Effects

EMSL Analytical offers environmental testing services and sampling supplies to identify harmful algal blooms, and other microbial and chemical pollutants, to protect the public, workers and local ecosystems.

Cinnaminson, NJ – WEBWIRE

In December, the Florida Department of Health in Pinellas County (DOH-Pinellas) notified the public of a red tide bloom that was found along some Pinellas’ coastal beaches. Red tide blooms are a type of harmful algal bloom (HAB) caused by colonies of algae that grow out of control while producing toxins that can potentially harm wildlife, pets and even humans.

According to the DOH-Pinellas warning, some people may have mild and short-lived respiratory symptoms such as eye, nose and throat irritation similar to cold symptoms. The public is also advised that individuals with breathing problems, such as asthma, might experience more severe symptoms.

DOH-Pinellas recommends:

  • Not swimming around dead fish
  • If one has chronic respiratory problems, to be careful and consider staying away from locations with red tide as it can affect breathing
  • Not harvesting or eating molluscan shellfish and distressed or dead fish from affected locations. If fish are healthy, rinse fillets with tap or bottled water and throw out the guts
  • Keeping pets away from water, sea foam and dead sea life
  • Residents living in beach areas are advised to close windows and run the air conditioner (making sure that the A/C filter is maintained according to manufacturer’s specifications)
  • If outdoors, residents may choose to wear paper filter masks, especially if onshore winds are blowing

“It’s not just Florida that faces challenges caused by HABs, they are a major environmental problem in all 50 states according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency,” said Jason Dobranic, Ph.D., Vice President of Microbiology and Life Sciences at EMSL Analytical, Inc. “Red tides, blue-green algae and cyanobacteria are all examples of HABs that can cause harm. At EMSL, our scientists offer a wide range of environmental testing services that include algal identification, algal biomass analysis and various algal toxin testing options. These services help to protect area residents, aquatic ecosystems and even local economies.”

Several years ago, EMSL sponsored an educational video about harmful algal blooms that can still be seen at:

To learn more about testing for harmful algal blooms, toxins, and other microbial or chemical pollutants, please visit, email or call (800) 220-3675.

About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical is one of the leading testing laboratories with locations throughout the United States and Canada. EMSL is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider specializing in fast laboratory results for mold, bacteria, Legionella, USP 797, pathogens, asbestos, lead, soot, char & ash from fires, VOCs, odors, radon, formaldehyde, indoor air quality, microbiology, environmental, industrial hygiene, radiological, food, beverage & consumer products and material testing services for the identification of unknown substances. EMSL services both professionals and the general public. EMSL maintains an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies including, but not limited to A2LA, AIHA LAP, LLC. (AIHA EMLAP, AIHA IHLAP, AIHA ELLAP), NVLAP, CDC ELITE, CPSC, CA ELAP, NY ELAP, TX DOH, NJDEP and multiple other state accrediting agencies. Please visit our website at for a complete listing of accreditations. In addition, EMSL carries a wide range of Sampling Equipment and Investigative Products for environmental professionals.

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 Red Tide
 Algal Bloom

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