Special Issue "Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) and Public Health: Progress and Current Challenges"


A special issue of Toxins (ISSN 2072-6651). This special issue belongs to the section "Marine and Freshwater Toxins".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (1 December 2014)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Dr. Lesley V. D'Anglada
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Science and Technology, Office of Water, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W. (MC 4304T), Washington, DC 20460, USA
E-Mail: Danglada.lesley@Epa.gov
Phone: +1 202 566 1125
Fax: +1 202 566 1140

Guest Editor
Dr. Elizabeth D. Hilborn
United States Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Research and Development, National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory, Research Triangle Park, NC 27703, USA
E-Mail: hilborn.e@epa.gov
Phone: +1 919 966 0658
Fax: +1 919 966 0655

Guest Editor
Dr. Lorraine C. Backer
National Center for Environmental Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 4770 Buford Highway NE, MS F-60, Chamblee, GA 30341, USA
Website: http://oceansandhumanhealth.noaa.gov/nap/members/backer.html
E-Mail: lfb9@cdc.gov
Phone: +1 770 488 3426
Fax: +1 770 488 3450

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Over the past decade, coastal and freshwater systems in the U.S. and worldwide have experienced an apparent increase in the frequency and geographic distribution of harmful algal blooms (HABs). These blooms can adversely affect both public health and ecosystem health. Toxin-producing HABs can accumulate in drinking and recreational waters and in foods of aquatic origin such as fish and seafood. Human and animal health risks include exposure to the toxins through eating contaminated food or drinking or swimming in contaminated water. Because of these potential public health risks, several countries and U.S. states have developed monitoring programs and guidelines for drinking and recreational water quality to protect public health. This special issue will present research papers and reviews on various aspects of public health and environmental responses to harmful algal blooms. The subthemes considered include:

- HAB monitoring for public health protection and response

- Public health surveillance for HAB-related exposures and illnesses

- Health risks from exposure to contaminated fish and shellfish, drinking and recreational water

- Remediation and treatment technologies

- Challenges and successes of HAB-related public health education campaigns and programs

- HAB risk management

Dr. Lesley V. D'Anglada
Dr. Elizabeth Hilborn
Dr. Lorraine C. Backer
Guest Editors


Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. Papers will be published continuously (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are refereed through a peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Toxins is an international peer-reviewed Open Access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1200 CHF (Swiss Francs).


  • harmful algal blooms
  • cyanobacteria
  • blue-green algae
  • cyanotoxins
  • red tides
  • public health
  • drinking water treatment
  • monitoring
  • treatment
  • prevention
  • public health surveillance
  • environmental health
  • environmental contaminants and human health

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Displaying article 1-7
p. 457-477
by , ,  and
Toxins 2015, 7(2), 457-477; doi:10.3390/toxins7020457
Received: 26 November 2014 / Accepted: 28 January 2015 / Published: 5 February 2015
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p. 353-366
by , , , , , , ,  and
Toxins 2015, 7(2), 353-366; doi:10.3390/toxins7020353
Received: 5 December 2014 / Accepted: 21 January 2015 / Published: 30 January 2015
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p. 3354-3387
by ,  and
Toxins 2014, 6(12), 3354-3387; doi:10.3390/toxins6123354
Received: 1 November 2014 / Revised: 29 November 2014 / Accepted: 5 December 2014 / Published: 12 December 2014
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p. 3260-3280
by ,  and
Toxins 2014, 6(12), 3260-3280; doi:10.3390/toxins6123260
Received: 23 October 2014 / Revised: 25 November 2014 / Accepted: 3 December 2014 / Published: 10 December 2014
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p. 3041-3057
by , , ,  and
Toxins 2014, 6(11), 3041-3057; doi:10.3390/toxins6113041
Received: 13 August 2014 / Revised: 30 September 2014 / Accepted: 15 October 2014 / Published: 28 October 2014
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p. 2657-2675
by , , ,  and
Toxins 2014, 6(9), 2657-2675; doi:10.3390/toxins6092657
Received: 11 March 2014 / Revised: 13 August 2014 / Accepted: 18 August 2014 / Published: 9 September 2014
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p. 2379-2392
by ,  and
Toxins 2014, 6(8), 2379-2392; doi:10.3390/toxins6082379
Received: 3 July 2014 / Revised: 24 July 2014 / Accepted: 25 July 2014 / Published: 13 August 2014
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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Title: Health-based action levels to protect people, dogs and livestock from microcystin-LR, anatoxin-a, and cylindrospermopsin exposures in surface waters
Authors: Regina Linville
Affiliation: Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment
Abstract: Several species of cyanobacteria produce cyanotoxins that cause human illnesses and kill pets or livestock. We conducted a risk assessment to determine the cyanotoxin concentrations in recreational waters at which no adverse effects are expected to occur. The toxicological literature was reviewed in order to compute health-protective reference doses for microcystin-LR (MC-LR), anatoxin-a (ANA-a) and cylindrospermopsin (CYN) in humans, pets, and livestock. Cyanotoxin exposure levels were estimated for people swimming in, or consuming fish from, recreational waters. Exposure levels were estimated for dogs and cattle consuming cyanobacterial crusts and drinking from contaminated waters. Exposure in dogs swimming in bloom waters was also considered. Health-protective environmental limits were derived using the calculated reference doses and estimated exposure levels. Limits were derived for MC-LR, ANA-a and CYN in recreational waters, sport fish, and cyanobacterial crusts and mats. We discuss our findings within the context of current public health measures employed by governments to protect people and animals from the adverse effects of cyanotoxins.

Last update: 12 August 2014

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