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Environmental Chemistry Laboratory

Category Press Release
Publish Date 9/3/2019
Author Paul Cochrane
Title Harmful Algal Blooms and Dangerous Toxins Identified by LA Testing
Introduction LA Testing provides analytical services to identify microbial contaminants and toxins to safeguard the environment and public, and to help protect industries that are impacted by harmful algal blooms.

Huntington Beach, CA, September 3rd, 2019

Harmful algal blooms (HABs) are overgrowths of algae in water that can occur almost anywhere across the globe. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) states that HABs are a major environmental problem in all 50 states.

Harmful algal blooms can occur in both fresh and marine waters. Red tides, blue-green algae and cyanobacteria are examples of HABs that can cause a severe impact on human health, aquatic ecosystems and the economy. In fact, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reported that although human illnesses caused by HABs are rare, they can be debilitating or even fatal.

In addition to potentially producing extremely dangerous toxins, harmful algal blooms can:

  • Create dead zones by depleting oxygen in the water
  • Raise treatment costs for drinking water
  • Hurt a wide range of industries that depend on clean water


In California, the California Water Quality Monitoring Council offers a central resource for providing information to the public about known harmful algal blooms with a primary focus on freshwater and estuarine blooms. For coastal HABs, the California Harmful Algal Bloom Monitoring and Alert Network posts similar content.

“Monitoring HABs in California is important for the environment, residents and visitors, and to minimize their impact on the state’s economy,” said Michael Chapman, Laboratory Manager at LA Testing’s Huntington Beach facility. “This past May, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published Recommended Human Health Recreational Ambient Water Quality Criteria or Swimming Advisories for Microcystins and Cylindrospermopsin. The document reflects the agency’s latest scientific knowledge on the potential human health effects from recreational exposure to these two cyanotoxins associated with HABs.”

LA Testing is a leading provider of aquatic laboratory services in California. Scientists from their network provide a wide range of testing services, including algal identification, algal biomass analysis and various algal toxins testing for water, air and soil samples. LA Testing has recently sponsored an educational video about harmful algal blooms that can be seen at: https://youtu.be/JF8UnMJ84HU.

To learn more about this or other environmental, health and safety testing services, please visit www.LATesting.com, email info@LATesting.com or call (800) 755-1794.


About LA Testing
LA Testing is California’s leading laboratory for indoor air quality testing of asbestos, mold, lead, VOCs, formaldehyde, soot, char, ash and smoke damage, particulates and other chemicals. In addition, LA Testing offers a full range of air sampling and investigative equipment to professionals and the general public. LA Testing maintains an extensive list of accreditations including: AIHA LAP LLC., AIHA ELLAP, AIHA EMLAP and AIHA IHLAP, CDC ELITE, NVLAP, State of California, State of Hawaii Department of Health and other states. LA Testing, along with the EMSL Analytical, Inc. network, has multiple laboratories throughout California including South Pasadena, Huntington Beach, San Leandro, San Diego and Ontario.

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