Author(s): Schaeffer DJ, Malpas PB, Barton LL
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Abstract Aphanizomenon flos-aquae, a cyanobacterium that is marketed as a health food supplement, is harvested from natural blooms in Klamath Lake (Oregon) that are occasionally contaminated by Microcystis spp. Regulatory agencies in several countries are developing regulations to control the amount of microcystin in drinking water and other products, including products produced from A. flos-aquae. Regulation of microcystin (MC), a toxin produced by Microcystis spp. that is potentially present in natural culture of A. flos-aquae, should be based on studies in which a test species is exposed to the natural mixture of these cyanobacteria. A 1984 feeding trial to determine the effects of high dietary levels of A. flos-aquae on reproduction and development of mice is reanalyzed in light of recent analyses for microcystin-LR (MCLR) in the diets of those mice. Young adult mice consuming up to 333 microg MCLR/kg body weight (bw)/day exhibited no adverse effects on growth and reproduction, fetal development, and survival and organ weights of neonates. Based on a NOAEL of 333 microg MCLR/kg bw/day, a safety factor of 1000, consumption of 2 g/day of A. flos-aquae by a 60-kg adult, the safe level of MCLR as a contaminant of A. flos-aquae products is calculated to be 10.0 microg MCLR/g. Copyright 1999 Academic Press.
This article was published in Ecotoxicol Environ Saf
and referenced in Journal of Autacoids and Hormones