Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment


Information on Microcystins

Microcystis is a family of blue green algae that proliferate in slow moving, nutrient rich waters.  Unlike most other algae, however, microcystis produce a family of toxins, known as microcystins, which can cause serious illness in people and mortality in livestock and pets.  As part a project lead by Peggy Lehman, Department of Water Resources, we have prepared a set of technical resources to provide basic information to scientists in local public health and natural resource agencies as well as the public about microcystins and risks associated with exposure to this family of toxins.  The focus of this information is on the effects of microcystins on fish, wildlife, birds, and livestock, as follows:

For further information about any of these technical resources, please contact Regina Linville ( or Barbara Washburn (

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