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Red Algal Bloom – Gloom Time for Asthmatics

by Savitha C Muppala on  January 10, 2007 at 1:59 PM General Health News   - G J E 4
Red Algal Bloom – Gloom Time for Asthmatics
Sarasota: Red tide on Florida's coast, a yearly occurrence, is a sign of more crease lines on Asthmatics' countenance. The 'Red tide' time, is undoubtedly red alert for asthmatics, as toxins called brevetoxins take flight, triggering difficulties in breathing. Researchers also fear this could intensify symptoms in Asthmatics. Many beach visitors also complain of dry coughs and watering eyes during the red tide phase.
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Barbara Kirkpatrick of the Mote Marine Laboratory in Sarasota and her team were able to comprehend the implication of red tide on asthma sufferers during a study of 97 asthmatics. Tests were conducted after the participants spent an hour at the beach in Sarasota - on two occasions - when the red tide was flourishing and when it was not.

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The study revealed that upon exposure to toxins, subjects complained of increase in asthmatic symptoms, showing up as tightness in the chest. On the contrary, when the tide had subsided, the subjects experienced no alteration in the symptoms. This was verified by ascertaining the lung power of study participants with the spirometer, which showed a marked decline during full bloom.

In the words of researchers, "People who have asthma need to be aware of the red tides, and plan their outdoor activities accordingly. We now have the scientific data that confirms anecdotal reports from the local community."

Source: Medindia
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