WHO guidance on cyanotoxins

Leader: Ingrid Chorus
 
In December 2020, the World Health Organisation (WHO) published new guideline values for further cyanotoxins, i.e. not only for Microcystin-LR, but generally for microcystins, cylindrospermopsins, Anatoxin-a and ist congeners and for saxitoxins. These encompass not only values for lifetime daily exposure to 2 L of drinking-water, but also for short-term and for recreational exposure. Moreover, the WHO Guidebook “Toxic Cyanobacteria in Water“, first published in 1999, is now available as 2nd completely revised edition with a strong focus on both short-term management responses when blooms start building up (Alert Level Frameworks, ALFs, including for recreational sites) and on longer-term management to control waterbody conditions that cause them. The latter is structured along the steps of developing site-specific Water Safety Plans (WSP), based on risk assessment. The guideline values, the recreational ALF and the application of the WSP approach to cyanotoxin risk assessment and management are new and raise questions. The session will give a brief introduction, and in particular it will provide a platform for discussion and exchange of experience with practices established nationally and locally so far in relation to these new suggestions.

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