Cape Coral passes motion to request air quality testing for toxins

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Algae cleanup in a canal on Aug. 8, 2018 at Waterway Estates in North Fort Myers.

The City of Cape Coral passed a motion Monday to send a letter to the Department of Health and the DEP requesting air quality tests.

The City hopes to answer a question that many have been asking: how safe is the air you breathe?

Blue-green algae has overwhelmed Cape Coral neighbors for months, and now people are worried about health impact of the water crisis.

While Sally Mullins says her Cape Coral canal is looking normal again, she was living with blue-green algae for months, and she says the smell was unbearable.

“Sore throat, we had vomiting, diarrhea, everything,” Mullins said.

And while cleanup efforts helped to clear up their water, she still has one question.

“I would love to know what we were breathing and what it was doing to our bodies.”

Cape Council Member Jessica Cosden agrees.

“Clearly there’s something in the air,” Cosden said.

Which is why she asked city staff what Cape Coral can do.

Cosden, the Mayor, and the rest of Cape city council discussed air quality testing in Southwest Florida’s largest city.

“To me, I want Cape Coral to be kind of on the cutting edge because we’re not the only community that’s experienced this,” Cosden said. “And this will not be the last time it happens here. And I’d like to know, at least, can we find out what is the safe normal non-blue green algae outbreak level of air quality?”

About one week ago, WINK News talked with FGCU researchers about their air-quality tests.

MORE: FGCU researchers install air quality pump to test blue-green algae toxins

But currently, no government entity is testing the air near blue-green algae.

In an email dated September 7, Cosden wrote that it’s a public safety matter that needs to be addressed.

“At least somebody is stepping up and trying to step in and see where we’re at with all of this,” Mullins said.

Cape Coral will continue to look at steps they need to take to ensure the air you breathe is safe.

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