Fluorescein Turned Goldstream River In B.C. Into Green, Chemical Not Toxic But Can Cause Allergic Reactions

By on Jan 7, 2011 in Environment, Health, North America Comments
Goldstream River With Fluorescein
Goldstream River in B.C turned green due to fluorescein
Image Credit: Rs25.com

The Goldstream River near Victoria has been reported Wednesday to have appeared green. Onlookers were stunned seeing the water turned green and worried on the effect that it may have on fish and wildlife.

According to several news sites, water samples have been taken on Wednesday from the river and were sent to Environment Canada’s Pacific Environmental Science Centre in North Vancouver for assessment.

On that same day and time, a fountain in Langford, B.C. also turned green. It was speculated that the two incidents were connected and that both incidents were likely pranks.

Dan Gilmore, a provincial Environment Ministry spokesman said that “test results … confirm the substance causing the green colour in the river, and the fountain was fluorescein.”

As quoted, “Fluorescein is a synthetic organic compound soluble in water and alcohol. It is widely used as a fluorescent tracer for many applications. The product itself and its products of degradation are not toxic.” However, though it is non-toxic, reports said that it can cause severe reactions to humans.

“It does not have a high toxicity, but it can, rarely, cause allergic reactions,” Murray Fyfe said Friday.

Fluorescein is being used to trace leaks from septic tanks and water systems and is also used in medical diagnosis, specifically in ophthalmology and radiology.

Chemical reactions include nausea, hives, and even death from anaphylactic shock.

The culprits being responsible of dumping the chemical into the river have not been traced yet and as to how much they have put in is still not known.

Video Uploaded by YouTube user ShayneKaye1003

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