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The Effect of Water Quality on the Destruction of Cyanotoxins

The Effect of Water Quality on the Destruction of Cyanotoxins,J. Rositano,G. Newcombe,B. Nicholson,P. Sztajnbok

The Effect of Water Quality on the Destruction of Cyanotoxins  
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The occurrence of cyanobacterial (blue-green algal) blooms and the possibility of the production of associated cyanotoxins (algal toxins) have become major concerns for drinking water providers. At least a third of the 50 known genera of cyanobacteria are capable of producing toxins and between 50 and 70% of blooms of those cyanobacteria are toxic. The most common types of cyanotoxins are neurotoxins such as the anatoxins and saxitoxins, and peptide hepatotoxins such as the microcystins, known to cause liver damage and promote tumours. The presence of cyanotoxins in water sources presents important implications for human health. A reliable method for the removal of commonly occurring toxins in a wide range of waters would be of great value to the international water industry. The ozonation of the cyanotoxins microcystin LR and LA, anatoxin-a and the saxitoxin group of compounds was studied in four different waters, sampled after treatment and before chlorination. The microcystins were most readily destroyed by ozone, while the saxitoxins showed considerable resistance to oxidation. The differences in the ease of oxidation can be attributed to the structural differences between the toxins. The four waters were chosen to represent a wide range of water quality, including high and low dissolved organic carbon (DOC) concentrations and high and low alkalinity. There was a significant effect of water quality on the ozonation of all toxins.
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