Palm Beach County Closes Beaches As Red Tide Moves Into The Atlantic

Beaches close due to red tide in Palm Beach County Martin County and Miami-Dade as red tide enters the area

  • The red tide has been responsible for killing a countless amount of marine life over the last few months

  • It is rare for the red tide to be present in the Atlantic but is possible for the current to have pushed cells form the Gulf

  • Studies showed coastal residence living with 1.6 kilometers from the red tide experienced a 54% increase in ER admissions for respiratory issues

  • Animals can also experience respiratory issues from exposure to brevetoxin aerosols

Palm Beach County, Florida has closed all of their beaches after the red tide moved into the area. The red tide has already killed a countless amount of marine life along the Gulf Coast over the last few months.

The presence of the toxic algae Karenia brevis has been confirmed in Palm Beach and Miami-Dade. Typically, effects of the red tide on humans can include irritation of throats, eyes, and nose. Leaving the area and allowing a little time for the toxins to clear from the body will normally stop the effects. However, those with a respiratory condition such as emphysema or asthma could experience serious illness from prolonged exposure to the red tide.

It is not normal for the red tide to show up along the Atlantic as the blooms incubate in the Florida Shelf off the state’s Gulf Coast. With how massive the red tide bloom was in the Gulf Coast over the past few months, it is not impossible for the current to push cells to the east coast.

Last week Palm Beach County began closing their beaches after reports of symptoms related to red tides started coming in from the Jupiter area. Concerns of the red tide went into Martin County as well. Miami-Dade closed beaches north of Haulover.

Human exposure occurs when contaminated shellfish are consumed and by inhaling toxins known as brevetoxins that can go airborne. A study from the US National Institutes of Health shows an increase in hospital visits during these red tides.

The study looked at data to recognize if there was an increase in hospital emergency room admissions for respiratory issues during the Florida red tide. The study compared a three month period in 2001 when the red tide was present and the same period in 2002 when the red tide was not present in Sarasota. Home residence zip codes within 1.6 kilometers of the coast were categorized for the study.

The study showed there was a 19% increase in the rate of pneumonia cases when the red tide was present. Furthermore, data showed a 54% increase for respiratory admissions from coastal residents. Inland residents did not see the same spike.

Humans are not the only ones subjected to airborne brevetoxin. Studies show that animals exposed to these toxic aerosols can also experience respiratory and other symptoms. When mice were exposed to brevetoxins 80% of the toxins cleared from the lung quickly. The other 20% remained in the lungs for a period of seven days.

The Daily Haze is currently preparing to film a documentary on the Florida red tide. If you would like to help contribute to our campaign, you can do so by clicking here.

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About Meko Haze

Meko Haze is an independent journalist by day... and an independent journalist by night.

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