How far can red tide toxins travel by air?

Residents living miles from beach can get sick

Red tide is still lingering near both coasts of Florida. Scientists with Mote Marine are researching how far the bloom’s toxins can travel. The first testing showed the blooms toxins can travel about three miles, making some people sick.

“Coughing constantly, you feel like there is something in your throat,” said Sarasota resident Donna Zook.

Mote Scientists are placing a dozen air testing machines throughout Bradenton and Sarasota. Scientists are going to see if the bloom’s toxins can travel further than they currently suspect.

“The stronger the wind the more it will go inland,” said Dr. Richard Pierce.

Pierce said they will study the air locations for about a week. Mote Scientists are working with the Department of Health on the project.  

Zook is hoping the bloom will dissipate soon.  

"How long is this going to last... and we don’t have an answer, nobody has an answer," said Zook.

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