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The occurrence and environmental fate of cyanobacterial β-N-methylamino-L-alanine and consequential potential human exposure
Expanded Title:β-N-methylamino-L-alanine (BMAA) is a neurotoxic amino acid produced by cyanobacteria. BMAA is implicated in neurodegenerative disease as it causes motor neuron damage at fairly low concentrations. Potentially harmful BMAA within cyanobacterial cells may be released on cell senescence. Collapse of a substantial cyanobacterial bloom may result in release of large amounts of the toxin into water. The aims of this project were to evaluate potential risk to consumers, the fate of the toxin in the environment, the environmental consequences of BMAA in the water, and the potential for contamination of drinking water. Data suggested that BMAA is rapidly taken up by a wide range of organisms and becomes freely available in food webs. Furthermore, data showed that bioaccumulation occurs in certain species while biotransformation can occur in some species. Standard methods including sand filtration, chlorination and the use of activated carbon were all successful at removing BMAA at laboratory scale. The absence of BMAA in any treated water tested, including treated water from bloom-containing raw water, confirms that standard water treatment practices adequately protect consumers from BMAA at known concentrations in raw water.
Date Published:01/07/2013
Document Type:Research Report
Document Keywords:Water Quality
Document Format:Report
Document File Type:pdf
Research Report Type:Standard
WRC Report No:1885/1/13
ISBN No:978-1-4312-0439-7
Authors:Downing TG; Esterhuizen-Londt M; Downing S
Project No:K5/1885
Organizations:Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University
Document Size:1 289 KB
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