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The Florida Department of Health works to protect, promote, and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county, and community efforts.

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Aquatic Toxins

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Aquatic Toxins and Your Health

Florida has an inviting subtropical climate along with 1,200 miles of coastline, 11,000 miles of rivers, streams and waterways, 7,700 lakes and more large springs than any other state. The Department of Health's (DOH) Aquatic Toxins Program works to ensure that these waters are safe for recreation and that Florida seafood is safe to eat.

We protect the health of Floridians by educating people about harmful algal blooms and their toxins, watching for illnesses in our communities, and working with local, state and federal agencies to reduce exposures to aquatic toxins.

Some of the things we do include:

Monitor for Illnesses: The Florida Poison Information Centers and DOH County Health Departments report cases of aquatic toxin illnesses to our program. We do electronic surveillance of poison control and hospital data to locate new cases of illness in the community and investigate the cause.

Provide Education and Outreach: Our program provides education to the health care community and the public to prevent the number of illnesses caused by algal blooms.

Assist Local Communities: We work with neighborhood organizations, local health departments, and any interested group to respond to algal blooms and reduce human and animal exposures to protect health.

For more information, please select from sub-topics indexed on the left-hand side of this page, or visit our topical index page.

If you have a question or a health problem related to aquatic toxins please call the Poison Control Hotline at 1-800-222-1222.

It will help you get proper treatment and protect your family. It also helps us find out how these algal blooms and the toxins they may produce affect people.

Report fish kills to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission at 1-800-636-0511.

Funding for this program comes from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Grant # U50-CCU423360-01, the National Science Foundation (NSP) Award # 1009244, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NASA) Center for Coastal Monitoring and Assessment and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Agreement # NNH08ZDA001N.