The most common risk factor for the growth of algae blooms on the ocean surface is excessive water consumption, according to a report released Monday by the International Center for Applied Systems Analysis (ICSA).
The report comes after an April report by the World Health Organization found that nearly two-thirds of the world’s coastal waters contain an abundance of the algae-producing bacteria known as Pseudomonas.
“The most important concern, in my view, is the potential for the algae to become a reservoir of contaminants and pollutants, including toxic metals, neurotoxins, and carcinogens,” ICSA director Paul E. Pouw said in a statement.
While most of the country’s water is safe for consumption, a quarter of the U.S. coastline has levels of P. cinerea higher than the international limit of 10 parts per billion, the highest in the world, the report found.
It said the U,S.
also has the second-highest rate of marine debris on the globe.
“We can say that, in the case of the Chesapeake Bay, there are far more than two rivers with an excess of PnP than there are with the Atlantic Ocean,” IHS Chief Economist Bruce W. Nisbett said in the statement.
“Our estimates suggest that the total amount of Pb in the water has grown by about 4.6 billion pounds since 2000.”