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Florida beaches invaded by dangerous algae caused by farm fertilizers: respiratory problems, skin rashes and more

Toxic algae

(NaturalNews) A state of emergency has been declared in four counties in Florida due to the formation of excessive toxic algae in the state's ocean waters. After having to temporarily shut down a slew of Florida beaches over July 4th weekend because of the presence of algae, the problem has since escalated, and put not just the health of Florida's pristine beaches in peril, but the health of its inhabitants as well.

This "living, putrid green slime" has been reported to make Florida's beaches "smell like a toilet," and has caused a myriad of health issues including headaches, rashes and respiratory issues. The toxic algae first started forming when authorities released water from Lake Okeechobee into a series of canals draining into the ocean two weeks ago.

Lake Okeechobee, like many other lakes in the U.S., has been known for its rampant blooming of dangerous algae. While the mainstream media reports that the algae blooms are being caused by farm fertilizer run-off, evidence suggests another culprit could be to blame.

Sam Shepherd, a chemical engineer with expertise in pathology, told Natural News exclusively that biosolids have been applied near the site of contamination responsible for the dangerous algae.

Biosolids, a treated form of sewage waste combined with toxic waste from various industries, has justifiably been scrutinized for its adverse environmental effects, with land application in Florida being no exception.

Officially classified as a waste material, biosolids are generated when solids accumulated during domestic sewage processing are treated further to meet mandatory regulatory requirements. Essentially the sewage industry's corporate lobbyist term for "sewage sludge", biosolids have been placed in mass quantities around the country since the 1970s.

Lake Okeechobee is no exception. According to Sam Shepherd, "Class B biosolids have been placed around the farmlands of Lake Okeechobee for up to 50 years ... and it will take another 50 years to clean it up."

In light of extensive research in the state of Florida about the environmental and health risks of biosolids, The Overview of DEP's New Biosolids Rule stated that the placement of biosolids in certain designated sites was expected to cease entirely by the year 2013. Interestingly enough, Lake Okeechobee was one of those designated sites. Currently, only about half of such sites have ceased operations.

Although biosolids are treated to pass federal regulations, they more often than not still contain dangerous bacteria and other harmful pathogens. According to Food Safety News, biosolids "regularly tests positive for a host of heavy metals, flame retardants, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, pharmaceuticals, phthalates, dioxins, and a host of other chemicals and organisms."

Photo credit: ABC News
Photo credit: ABC News

Dr. David Lewis, a former EPA scientist, reported directly to Natural News that some of the known human health effects of biosolid exposure include: shortness of breath, mucus in the lungs, skin rashes and other respiratory issues. Coincidentally, many of the aforementioned symptoms are not too dissimilar to the symptoms experienced by those exposed to the algae blooming on Florida's beaches.

Additionally, Dr. David Lewis's book, Science For Sale, links biosolids to increases in antibiotic resistance, perhaps providing a cause for ABC News' reports of serious infections afflicting Florida inhabitants exposed to the ocean's algae outbreak.

Furthermore, Newsweek reported earlier this year that the presence of biosolids in livestock grazing pastures has the potential to cause grave human health-related consequences. "Given that these chemicals are very persistent," Richard Lea, a reproductive biologist at the School of Veterinary Medicine and Science at the University of Nottingham, wrote, "and they've survived the very intensive processing of the sewage to begin with, there's a very high chance they'll end up inside us."

No one knows exactly what happens to the leftover contaminants in biosolids once they are placed into soil, but there is more and more evidence suggesting it cannot be good. To uncover the truth about exactly how detrimental biosolids are to human health, calls for independent lab testings are crucially important. Whether biosolids are the cause of Florida beaches' toxic algae problem remains to be seen for certain, but the dots continue to line up, and Florida's beaches continue to look like ghost towns. Check back for updates.








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