Toxicologist Prof. Daniel Dietrich and his group of researchers at the University of Constance are working on clarifying the circumstances under which blue algae produce toxins and whether they are toxic for humans and animals.
Dietrich is also dealing with another similar case in a particular region of Argentina where drinking water is taken from a dammed river. Areas with a drinking water purification plant do not experience the same problems as the population in areas that do not have access to these technologies. An increasing number of locals in the latter case have fallen ill. Daniel Dietrich is trying to find out whether the barrage contains blue algae and whether the algae caused the aforementioned health problems. If this is the case, then a simple but efficient water purification plant needs to be constructed. However, Dietrich’s interests go far beyond research and the identification of the causes of health problems. “I want to help successfully resolve all of these problems and put measures in place to prevent them happening.”Dietrich’s research is very complex because many different influences and factors have to be taken into account. It would appear that climate change is not the only reason for the increase in blue algae. The question is, why are the toxin producers proliferating so rapidly? Daniel Dietrich hopes to find an answer to this problem and he is travelling to the Arctic in February to collect blue algae samples. He hopes that this will give him an idea of the origin and the further development of blue algae. However, it will not clarify all of his questions. Further research is required in order to build a comprehensive picture of blue algae and their potential for toxin production.