Journal of Microbiology

, Volume 51, Issue 1, pp 1–10 | Cite as

Toxin-producing cyanobacteria in freshwater: A review of the problems, impact on drinking water safety, and efforts for protecting public health

  • Melissa Y. Cheung
  • Song Liang
  • Jiyoung Lee


Cyanobacteria have adapted to survive in a variety of environments and have been found globally. Toxin-producing cyanobacterial harmful algal blooms (CHABs) have been increasing in frequency worldwide and pose a threat to drinking and recreational water. In this study, the prevalence, impact of CHABs and mitigation efforts were reviewed, focusing on the Lake Erie region and Ohio’s inland lakes that have been impacted heavily as an example so that the findings can be transferrable to other parts of the world that face the similar problems due to the CHABs in their freshwater environments. This paper provides a basic introduction to CHABs and their toxins as well as an overview of public health implications including exposure routes, health effects, and drinking water issues, algal bloom advisory practices in Ohio, toxin measurements results in Ohio public water supplies, and mitigation efforts.


cyanobacteria toxins freshwater public health drinking water safety 


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Copyright information

© The Microbiological Society of Korea and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Public Health, Division of Environmental Health ScienceOhio State UniversityColumbusUSA
  2. 2.Department of Environmental and Global Health, College of Public Health and Health Professions, and Emerging Pathogens InstituteUniversity of FloridaGainesvilleUSA
  3. 3.Department of Food Science & TechnologyOhio State UniversityColumbusUSA

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