In the late summer of 2014, Toledo, Ohio made national news when a little-known environmental contaminant shut down the drinking-water supply for 500,000 Ohioans.   “Microcystin” or “cyanotoxins” had previously caused a handful of localized scares over the past decade, but this was by far the most significant outbreak and the first time the issue caught national attention.  Since then, several state and federal agencies have been working to establish programs to monitor this growing public health threat. 

Cyanotoxins are compounds produced inside blue-green algae.  These algae are fairly common and do not pose a risk at lower levels, however, long, hot summers can lead to explosive algae blooms, resulting in dangerous levels of toxins.


NLS has recently completed method validation and analyst training in order to analyze for these compounds.  We expect to make the method available this summer as the weather warms and the potential for contamination rises.