DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH IN PALM BEACH COUNTY PUBLIC HEALTH ADVISORY
WHEREAS, on May 28, 2021, the Florida Department of Health in Palm Beach County became aware of elevated concentrations of cylindrospermopsin, a cyanotoxin produced by cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) in the drinking water produced from the City of West Palm Beach water treatment plant that is sourced by Clear Lake; and
WHEREAS, water contaminated with elevated concentrations of cylindrospermopsin presents several health risks to humans. Ingested toxins could upset the stomach, cause vomiting and diarrhea as well as liver and kidney damage1; and
WHEREAS, tap water containing elevated concentrations of cylindrospermopsin may be used for bathing, washing hands, washing dishes, flushing toilets, cleaning and doing laundry; and
WHEREAS, due to these elevated concentrations of cylindrospermopsin, it is necessary to provide information regarding this potential public health threat to individuals receiving water supplied by the City of West Palm Beach water treatment plant.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Alina Alonso, M.D., Director and Health Officer of Palm Beach County, pursuant to section 381.00315(1)(b), Florida Statutes, and the authority delegated to me from Scott A. Rivkees, M.D., State Surgeon General and State Health Officer, issue the following public health advisory:
Until further information is known regarding the reduction of this cyanotoxin in
the drinking water supply for the City of West Palm Beach, vulnerable populations including infants, young children under the age of six, pregnant women and nursing mothers, those with pre-existing liver conditions, those receiving dialysis treatment and as a precautionary measure, the elderly and other sensitive populations are urged to use alternate sources of water for drinking, making infant formula, making ice and preparing food and beverages. Individuals should contact their health care provider if they have concerns about symptoms related to cylindrospermopsin exposure such as symptoms of upset stomach, vomiting or diarrhea, or any symptoms indicative of liver or kidney damage.
Residents should not boil the tap water supplied by the City of West Palm Beach water treatment plant. Boiling the water will not destroy toxins and may increase the toxin levels.
Animals are also vulnerable to adverse health effects of cylindrospermopsin exposure. Consider providing animals alternative sources of drinking water. Contact a veterinarian if your animals show signs of illness.
Tap water supplied by the City of West Palm Beach water treatment plant may be used for bathing, washing hands, washing dishes, flushing toilets, cleaning and doing laundry. Infants and young children should be supervised to prevent accidental ingestion. Residents in this area can receive bottled water at:
1501 North Australian Avenue Palm Beach, Florida 33401
Issued this 28th day of May, 2021, in Department of Health offices, West Palm Beach, Palm Beach County, Florida.
Alina M. Alonso, M.D. Director and Health Officer
For full advisory: