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Effects Of Eutrophication On Humans Essay

637 words - 3 pages

Eutrophication is the reaction resulting from the addition of harmful substances to aquatic ecosystems. Eutrophication causes decreased biodiversity, changes in species composition and dominance dissolved oxygen depletion and problems in water treatments. Eutrophication is currently happening to many of the Canadian Lakes including Lake Winnipeg. Since 1969, it has been observed that Cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) has been the reason for the 90% hike in the algal blooms.Cyanobacteria causes a smelly odour and releases toxins that are detrimental to humans and some other organisms. When the lake is enriched with phosphorus, cyanobacteria thrive due to nitrogen-fixing. Due to the unfair advantage cyanobacteria has over other non-nitrogen-fixing species and its cause in oxygen depletion, other species die off causing decrease in biodiversity. It has been proven through the recoveries of lakes in many countries, including Canada, that reducing phosphorous is the most inexpensive and efficient way to solving the Cyanobacterial blooms. Synthetic fertilizer applications and manure from cattle and hogs are some of the major contributors of phosphorus to Lake Winnipeg (Schindler 2011). Everyone can help decrease these detrimental effect on aquatic ecosystems, through Cyanobacterial blooms, by decreasing or eliminating their use of nitrogen and phosphorous based products such as certain soaps and shampoos. In order to get people to support the cause, it is important to make them aware of the negative impacts of Cyanotoxins on humans.
Humans are exposed to cyanotoxins through drinking water and recreational activities. These cyanotoxins are classified into four groups by the organs they target; neurotoxins, hepatotoxins, cytotoxins, dermatotoxins. Anatotoxin-a, a neurotoxin released by cyanobacteria that causes muscle paralysis at low doses and death at high doses in humans. Alkoid cylindrospermopsin is a cytotoxin that blocks protein synthesis in mammalian cells (Corbel et al. 2014). Cyanobacteria that produce microcystins and anatoxin-a have been discovered at the salt lakes, Lake Sonachi and Lake Simbi in Kenya,...

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