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Domoic Acid Poisoning Essay

1086 words - 5 pages

Domoic acid is new toxins that have been found along the west coast of the United States and Canada. The first time domoic acid poisoning was noticed was in Prince Edward Island 1987, when shellfish was consumed. Three people died, and more than 100 people showed the toxin symptoms. Then birds started to die off because they had been eating anchovies, and the anchovies had the toxin inside of them. Then after the fish the sea lions started to die off as well because they ate the fish. The toxin starts to travel through the food chain. Another name for domoic acid is “Red Tide.” Toxic algae poison marine mammals that cause the brain to have seizures, stranding and large amounts of deaths. To ...view middle of the document...

It forces pregnant sea lions to go to the beach where they suffer from seizures and forming of the mouth. The whites of their eyes would turn red; some of the sea lions would be paralyzed from the toxin and had blood oozing from their nipples. Domoic acid poisoning can’t be transmitted from person to person.
Birds have been affected by this as well. They dove into streetlamps, crashed through glass windows, and attacked people on the ground. In 1991, beside the beaches of Monterey Bay, CA, more than 400 dead or dying seabirds were poisoned. Examination of the insides of the dead bird's stomachs showed high levels of domoic acid. Also, the birds had been eating anchovies from the bay. As well, examination of the anchovy gut showed that these fish had been eating the toxin. So it is basically only being transferred through consuming.
There are symptoms of domoic acid poisoning. Symptoms will start to occur the first 15 minutes to 38 hours after eating contaminated food. For humans the effects are vomiting, which happen during the first 24 hours, nausea, headache, dizziness, loss of short-term memory, seizures, and sometimes death, can happen within the first 48 hours. Animals are also affected by this poisoning too such as head weaving, seizures, swollen eyes, and disorientation. If you face any of these symptoms please rush to the nearest hospital.
To prevent anymore death from domoic acid poisoning we as humans need to stop polluting. Animals are just like humans, they eat the same food as us, we share the same water, and they get the same disease as us. When we pollute the ocean all the toxic waste will go to algae making it toxic algae. Then anchovies and sardines fed on toxic algae. And finally that’s when the toxic will reach humans and animals by us eating the anchovies and sardines. Domoic acid does not die off through cooking or freezing. With an estimated population of 200,000 to 300,000, California sea lions are nowhere near endangered, but the deaths and the high toxin levels have scientists and environmentalists worried. Our kidneys take waste out of our bodies and with this toxin inside us it...

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