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Proposed Project: Human Exposure to Cyanobacterial (blue-green algal) Toxins in Drinking Water: Risk of Exposure to Microcystins from Public Water Systems—New—National Center for Environmental Health (NCEH), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) can be found in terrestrial, fresh, brackish, or marine water environments. Some species of cyanobacteria produce toxins that may cause acute or chronic illnesses (including neurotoxicity, hepatotoxicity, and skin irritation) in humans and animals (including other mammals, fish, and birds). A number of human health effects, including gastroenteritis, respiratory effects, skin irritations, allergic responses, and liver damage, are associated with the ingestion of or contact with water containing cyanobacterial blooms. Although the balance of evidence, in conjunction with data from laboratory animal research, suggests that cyanobacterial toxins are responsible for a range of human health effects, there have been few epidemiologic studies of this association. We plan to recruit 100 people whose tap water comes from a source with a current cyanobacteria bloom (i.e., M. aeruginosa) and who report drinking unfiltered tap water. We also plan to recruit 100 people who report drinking unfiltered tap water but whose tap water source is groundwater that has not been contaminated with cyanobacteria. This population will serve as our referent population for the analysis of microcystins in blood and for the clinical assays. We will administer a questionnaire and collect blood samples from all study participants. Blood samples will be analyzed using a newly developed molecular assay for levels of microcystins—the hepatotoxin produced by Micocystis aeruginosa. We also will analyze blood samples for levels of liver enzymes (a biological marker of hepatotoxicity) and for a number of clinical parameters including hepatitis infection (a potential confounder in our study). We will evaluate whether we can (1) detect low levels of microcystins (<10 ng/ml of blood), in the blood of people who are exposed to very low levels of this toxin in their drinking water, (2) utilize clinical endpoints such as blood liver enzyme levels as biomarkers of exposure and biological effect, and (3) compare the analytical results for the exposed population with the results from the referent population. The estimated annualized burden is 350 hours.
|Respondents||Number of respondents||Number of responses per respondent||Average burden per response (in hours)|
|Tap Water Sample Collection||200||1||30/60|
Dated: September 28, 2001.
Nancy E. Cheal,
Acting Associate Director for Policy, Planning and Evaluation, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
[FR Doc. 01-25074 Filed 10-4-01; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4163-18-P