EPA Releases Documents Designed to Assist States and Utilities in Protecting Drinking Water from Algal Toxins

As reported to states earlier in the week, EPA has published drinking water health advisories for the cyanobacterial toxins microcystin and cylindrospermopsin. The advisories identify concentrations of the two algal toxins in drinking water at or below which adverse human health effects are not anticipated to occur over a ten-day exposure period. The advisory documents also provide information about testing methods and treatment techniques. In addition, EPA published health effects support documents for these cyanobacterial toxins, as well as a third one called anatoxin-a. These three cyanotoxins were identified on EPA’s most recent Candidate Contaminant List (CCL) for potential regulation in drinking water. EPA found adequate health effects data to develop health advisories for microcystins and cylindrospermopsin, but inadequate data to develop an advisory for anatoxin-a.
EPA has also published a cyanotoxin management document as a companion to the health advisories. It includes background information, tools to consider, and suggested management strategies, including a possible approach public water systems can consider in their cyanotoxin risk management efforts.
View the cyanotoxin health advisory and health effects support documents.
View the support document for managing cyanotoxins in drinking water..