While much information has been collected about the effects of brevetoxin ingestion in contaminated seafood, there has been very little research conducted and little is known about the effects of these toxins when inhaled in aerosols (Backer et al., 2003). The effects of brevetoxins are of great public health concern because not only are harmful algal blooms increasing in frequency and duration of occurrence, they are also expanding their area of distribution (Sellner et al., 2003; Kirkpatrick, 2004). Since a significant proportion of the world's population live within 75 miles of an ocean coast and this density of human coastal populations is increasing daily, particularly in subtropical and tropical areas (Fleming et al., 2006), this puts many people at risk for suffering from respiratory ailments, particularly those individuals that have already been diagnosed with respiratory disease such as asthma. The purpose of this research paper is to review literature on the epidemiologic relationship between aerosolized brevetoxin exposure during red tide events in Florida and the development of respiratory related ailments, particularly in those individuals that may be at increased risk due to preexisting respiratory conditions such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, smoking, and degenerative disease in the elderly.
International Journal of Global Health and Health Disparities
©2009 International Journal of Global Health and Health Disparities
Spaulding, Katie M.
"The Effects of Aerosolized Brevetoxin Exposure on the Human Respiratory System,"
International Journal of Global Health and Health Disparities, 6(1), 64-71.
Available at: https://scholarworks.uni.edu/ijghhd/vol6/iss1/7