August 15, 2012 National survey finds a potent liver toxin in many of Canada's lakes A cross-Canada survey has found a powerful liver toxin present in lakes in every province. The highest concentrations are in central Alberta and southern Manitoba.

National survey finds a potent liver toxin in many of Canada's lakes

August 15, 2012
The Province

A cross-Canada survey has found a potent liver toxin in every province's lakes, with the highest concentrations in the popular cottage and recreational waters of central Alberta and southern Manitoba.

Although it's been known for a long time that sewage and agricultural runoff cause water quality problems, new technology has allowed scientists for the first time to isolate and quantify the presence of microcystin, said lead author Diane Orihel.

"As lakes have higher and higher concentrations of nutrients, we see more and more (blue-green algae) and more and more microcystins," said Orihel, whose research was published Tuesday.

"We need to get serious about water quality in these lakes. This is now a human health concern across Canada."

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To learn more about how chemicals and other toxins can damage the liver, click here.
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