Cyanotoxin / Algal Toxin Analysis

GreenWater Laboratories is one of the first commercial laboratories with the expertise to perform and interpret cyanotoxin analyses. All analyses are conducted by professionals in the field of chemistry with rigorous QA/QC. Confirmatory analyses are available upon request (e.g. LC-MS/(MS) for ELISA assays).


(Enzyme linked immunosorbent assay)


ELISAs are very popular screening assays that provide limited quantitative information for specific groups of cyanotoxins. ELISAs typically have the ability to detect toxins at low levels for both surface and drinking waters. It should be noted that ELISAs are also prone to sample matrix interference that may confound results, leading to erroneous conclusions. It is important to have the ability to verify any positive ELISA responses with other techniques, such as HPLC coupled with PDA, FL or MS.

Algal Toxins analyzed with ELISA:

Algal Toxin Reporting Limit
ng/mL (ppb)
Microcystins/Nodularins 0.30 Adda ELISA (Method 546 & Ohio EPA DES 701.0)
Cylindrospermopsin 0.10 Cylindrospermopsin (522011)
Saxitoxin 0.05 STX specific assay (52255B)
Brevetoxin (NSP) 0.10 PbTx3 specific assay (520026)
Anatoxin-a(s) (OP carbamate) qualitative screen Organophosphate / Carbamate specific assay (550051)


Liquid Chromatography - Mass Spectrometry/Mass Spectrometry

GWL/CL currently maintains and operates multiple high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) systems with photodiode array (PDA), fluorescence (FL), and mass spectrometry (Ion Trap and Triple Quad) detection. This provides GWL/CL the ability to report data with a high level of confidence as well as the ability to supply confirmatory analysis on ELISA data.

Algal Toxins analyzed with HPLC-MS/MS:

Algal Toxin MDL (ppb - ng/mL) Method
dmMC-RR (2), MC-RR, NOD, MC-YR, MC-HtyR, MC-LR, dmMC-LR (3), MC-HilR, MC-WR, [DLeu1]MC-LR, MC-RY, MC-LY, MC-LA, MC-LW, MC-LF
0.01-0.10 Foss & Aubel 2015
Total Microcystins using MMPB 0.05 Foss & Aubel 2015
Cylindrospermopsin / Epi-cylindrospermopsin 0.05 Foss & Aubel 2013
Anatoxin-a / Homoanatoxin-a 0.05 Foss et al. 2018
Anatoxin-a / Cylindrospermopsin 0.03 / 0.05 Method 545 per UCMR4
Saxitoxins (Paralytic Shellfish Toxins)
Including analogs: STX, dcSTX, NEO, C1C2, GTX 1,2,3,4,5,6, dcGTX23
0.02-0.60 Yilmaz et al. 2018
BMAA (includes isomers BAMA, 2,4-DAB, 3,4-DAB & AEG) 0.5-10.0 Foss et al. 2018
Domoic Acid 0.05 In House LC-MS/MS
Dermatoxins (Lyngbyatoxin-A, Aplysiatoxin/Debromoaplysiatoxin) 0.1 - 5.0 In House LC-MS/MS
Okadaic Acid & Dinophysitoxins 1&2(DSP) 0.05 - 2.00 In House LC-MS/MS
Brevetoxins (PbTx 2 & 3) 0.05 - 2.00 In House LC-MS/MS
Method Dection Limits

Method Detection/Reporting Limits (MDLs & MRLs) are based on water samples and may vary depending on spike (LFM) returns. Other toxin analyses are available but not listed. Please call regarding your specific needs.

Rapid Turnaround Times

Rapid turnaround times are available on most toxin analyses conducted on water samples. Please call for rapid TAT requests.

Complex Matrices

GreenWater Laboratories conducts cyanotoxin analyses on many different biological matrices, including tissues and food products. We have developed many methods to address exposure to HABs and you can find our research on our articles page. For more information on analyzing biological matrices, click here.

Additonal extraction charges do apply to complicated matrices. Please contact us with specific requests.

GreenWater Laboratories CyanoLab

The Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB) and Algal Toxin Testing Lab

The following links provide our clients with a chain of custody (COC - analysis request form), information about our services, and general sampling instructions. Please call or email us if you have any questions and our experts will be happy to assist.

Chain of Custody

Analysis Request Form - Algal toxins

Please fill out our Analysis Request Form and ship it with your sample(s). This will also serve as a chain of custody (COC).

Description of

Description of Services

The linked document explains some of our services, including descriptions of the different types of analyses we conduct.


Sampling Instructions

The linked instructions include how to sample a bloom and how to package samples for shipment to our Lab. To order a sample kit, send us an email.

Contact Us

(386) 328-0882

(877) 869-2542

205 Zeagler Drive, Suite 302

Palatka, FL 32177