Microalgal bloom-associated illness (HAB) is a sudden increase in algae or cyanobacteria that can be detrimental to local wildlife, humans, or the environment. On top of the water, harmful algae or cyanobacteria might appear as foam, paint, scum, or mats and come in a variety of colors. Toxins from these blooms have the potential to affect both animals and humans. Both fresh and salt water, including rivers, lakes, and bays, can experience blooms.


The two forms of diatoms, phytoplankton, and dinoflagellates, are most frequently responsible for toxic algal blooms in saltwater environments, including bays and oceans. Toxins can be produced by diatoms and dinoflagellates. These toxins can make people or animals unwell if they are exposed to them.

The symptom of Microalgal bloom-associated illness (HAB) will depend on the following:

  • Length of their exposure
  • How an individual or animal was exposed
  • What kind of toxic exposure they experienced

Marine algal toxins are ingested by both animals and people through:

  • Swimming or other water-based activities
  • Eating contaminated seafood or shellfish
  • Taking in airborne contaminants in the form of microscopic droplets

People can become ill and have symptoms. The sort of poison to which the person was exposed affects the symptoms.

Signs of inhaling sea spray or coming into contact with water contaminated with brevetoxin include:

  • Breathing difficulty
  • Respiratory issues
  • Eye irritation
  • Asthma attacks
  • Throat irritation
  • Skin irritation


Your healthcare provider will ask about your signs and exposure in order to diagnose HAB.  A harmful algal bloom (HAB) may create toxins at a specific time and location, depending on a number of environmental circumstances, and a bloom that is not producing them one day may do so the next.

ELISA tests are screening assays that identify particular cyanotoxin subgroups. These toxins are detectable by ELISAs in drinking water as well as surface water at incredibly low concentrations.


The use of specific types of clay during blooming is the most traditional and popular method of controlling HABs. The tiny but dense clay particles will “flocculate” or merge with other water particles, such as HAB cells, when sprinkled over surface waters during a bloom.

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