In 2014, a bloom of algae on Lake Erie contaminated the water of Toledo, Ohio, and left city residents without safe drinking water for days. But as LSA’s Andrew Ault explained to Popular Science, algal blooms on the Great Lakes also pose a health threat to people living inland.
Ault, an assistant professor of environmental health sciences and chemistry, co-authored a recent study showing that waves on freshwater lakes can send particles of algae—which secrete toxic chemicals—as far as 30 to 40 miles inland. While scientists have long known that toxins from red tides on the ocean can travel inland on the wind, “nobody had really thought to look at this in the Great Lakes region or for freshwater lakes in general,” Ault said.
Click here to read more about Andrew Ault’s research on toxic algae in freshwater lakes.