EPA officially issues health advisories for cyanotoxins in drinking water

June 18, 2015
The Environmental Protection Agency officially issued health advisories for the two cyanotoxins microcystins and cylindrospermopsin.

June 18, 2015 -- On Wednesday, June 17, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) officially issued health advisories for the twocyanotoxinsmicrocystins and cylindrospermopsin. These non-regulatory levels are set below the expectation of no health impacts.

As part of an updated risk assessment process, EPA has issued two different advisory levels based upon a person's age -- one level for children under six years old and a second level for children six and above and adults.

The health advisory levels, which are based upon 10 days of exposure, are:

  • 0.3µg/L for microcystin and 0.7µg/L for cylindrospermopsin for children under six
  • 1.6 µg/L for microcystin and 3.0 µg/L for cylindrospermopsin for children over six

Supporting these numbers, EPA has issued two separate documents. The first (here) covers the health advisories themselves, which explains the basis upon which EPA developed the levels. The second (here) is a support document detailing EPA's recommendation to utilities in managing cyanotoxins.

Utilities and those interested are also encouraged to review the recently published AWWA and Water Research Foundation's "Water Utility Manager's Guide to Cyanotoxins" (here), which is available as a free download (see "AWWA, WRF release guide for utility managers to detect, control cyanotoxins").

See also:

"AWWA to Congress: Nutrient pollution reduction key to preventing cyanotoxins"

"AWWA officially releases 2015 State of the Water Industry Report"