Belfast Telegraph

Research team takes up fight on water toxin

By Linda Stewart

Scientists in Northern Ireland are developing technology to destroy water toxins caused by algal blooms.

A research team at the University of Ulster is collaborating with international partners to develop the new ‘clean’ technology to combat algal blooms, which threaten wildlife, livestock and humans.

This summer, Loughbrickland Lake near Banbridge and Moor Lough near Strabane were closed to the public for several weeks after harmful algal blooms were found. Both lakes are popular with anglers and used for water- based recreation activities.

Algal blooms occur naturally but not all pose a risk to humans or animals. However, the likelihood of harmful algal blooms is increased by a surge in nutrient-rich pollution.

The research team, led by Dr Tony Byrne, is also investigating a substance commonly used in sunblock which may help to battle the effects of pollution in water.

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