This article is part of the discussion on cyanotoxin Don’t Drink the Water.
When you find out your water is contaminated with cyanotoxin, your world will change. This water is dangerous and causes all sorts of troubles, even for showering or bathing. Unfortunately, you may never know it’s contaminated without the gas chromatography mass spectrometry testing. Since you can’t keep one in your back pocket, you must prepare and be on the alert. You must take precautions.
Do not bathe or shower in water contaminated with cyanotoxin. Someone, who shall remain nameless, told us it is okay to shower with it if you have no cuts or skin breaks on your body, you are healthy, and you are an adult if the toxin level was very low. Given the additional information below, that bit didn’t provide any comfort.
If you have to use it for doing dishes, all dishes and utensils must be effectively rinsed with undiluted chlorine bleach. It’s the only thing that removes (not destroys) it from the dishes. Even that is not a guarantee of safety.
Not one article has been found that suggests it’s safe to wash your clothing with it. And, since it concentrates the toxin as water is removed, it seems as if it would only remain in the clothing, and then be on your skin and you can’t get away from it.
And, most disturbingly is that water containing cyanotoxin is unsafe for both livestock and irrigation. Your animals will die from the exposure, and you wouldn’t want to eat any animals contaminated with cyanotoxin. When used in irrigation systems, it is airborn and inhaled by field workers. This causes any number of dreadful outcomes. Further, studies show that plants irrigated with contaminated water poses a great threat. The toxin not only gets in the plant, but it concentrates in the plant through the root system so that eating a small portion of the plant would be deadly.
In short the only way to get it off of something is to wash with full strength bleach, and that isn’t a sure thing. It remains on surfaces. It is both a poison and a carcinogen. It is harmful to every living creature that encounters it.
In short, there is no safe way to use water contaminated with cyanotoxin. When you use it, you know you are taking a risk and one has to determine if the risk is worth it or if there is some alternative water source to be found.
Saqrane, Sana, and Brahim Oudra. “CyanoHAB Occurrence and Water Irrigation Cyanotoxin Contamination: Ecological Impacts and Potential Health Risks.” Toxins. Molecular Diversity Preservation International, n.d. Web. 29 Mar. 2016.
Milligan, Allen J., Assistant Professor of Botany and Plant Pathology, OSU. “Potential Impact of Cyanobacteria on Crop Plants.” Potential Impact of Cyanobacteria on Crop Plants. Pacific Northwest Plant Disease Management, n.d. Web. 29 Mar. 2016.
“Drinking Water and Sanitation.” SpringerReference (n.d.): n. pag. Web.