Entire family hospitalized due to palytoxin

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ScottB

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ScottB

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“Only a newbie gets sold POS paly because it is the one animal they cannot kill. I swear there are some living dry, today, over my neighbor's fence, 7 yrs after I chucked it.”
Ahhh....that would be why it was the only thing that survived a cross country move in the back of a pickup truck, then being placed in a dark, cold basement with just a small circulation pump...for two months.
With a bit of bleach, it would be alive down there today. :)
 

Cherie cook

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Man, I spent 3 mos building the world’s most jacked up Reefer 250 and I get one comment a month. I paste a link to an article with a catchy title, get 4 pages of comments in 12 hrs!

Stay safe guys. Paly toxicity is real and dangerous.
Lol...now I’m gonna have to check out your build thread! ;Smuggrin
 

Ben Pedersen

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This is my issue with this story.. I’ve seen enough stories of people here in Florida with flesh eating disease and hospitals are quick to dismiss this. Something this rare? Idk seems bit fishy to me I’ve also never heard of issues airborn. I always wear gloves with softies just in case but this seems a little far fetched to me. More like the doctor or hospital isnteachjng for a reason and someone with a bit of knowledge stepped in said. Something false and everyone else jumps on the band wagon. People have been keeping corals for 100 years and nothing to this extent has ever happened before. History, logic and some common sense says this is a story. Someone more versed will chime in on this but I don’t see bird falling from the sky over a reef cause some corals got upset. This smells bad to me so until a versed biologist says different and provides proof that’s what it will stay.

Either way I’ll cintinue handling my softies with gloves and eye eye protection cause we all know some can be deadly but this that are are but few and rarely found in tanks..
About 25 years ago I had some brown and green large palys from Hawaii. While cleaning my tank I handled the palys and was exposed to palytoxin and had similar symptoms. One symptom I had that they didn't mention was a metallic brass taste in my mouth. At the time, the hospital had no idea what cause the sickness, just that I was exposed to some type of toxin. The story does seem to sensationalize a near death experience. When I was exposed I was no where near death... but very sick with a irregular heart beat.

This is a real concern. Most of the corals/palys we keep are completely safe, however, some are not. Wearing gloves and even glasses is a good precautionary measure worth taking especially when handling higher risk animals.
 
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Cherie cook

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About 25 years ago I had some brown and green large palys from Hawaii. While cleaning my tank I handled the palys and was exposed to palytoxin and had similar symptoms. One symptom I had that they didn't mention was a metallic copper taste in my mouth. At the time, the hospital had no idea what cause the sickness, just that I was exposed to some type of toxin.

This is a real concern. Most of the corals/palys we keep are completely safe, however, some are not. Wearing gloves and even glasses is a good precautionary measure worth taking especially when handling higher risk animals.
Yup...we had that metallic taste thing.
 

sam.veilleux30

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Man, I spent 3 mos building the world’s most jacked up Reefer 250 and I get one comment a month. I paste a link to an article with a catchy title, get 4 pages of comments in 12 hrs!

Stay safe guys. Paly toxicity is real and dangerous.
Life is not fair nor is social media!
 

Peach02

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Was going to respond again pointing out ignorance here but instead I’ll just post this and let everyone get informed..

1. that article and its follow up part 2 show zero proof

2. The Zoanthids it said where poisionous if we believe it are kept in our reefs, shown by the people in this thread and I have seen numerous ones at my LFS

3. essentially yes not all zoanthids are poisonous however to the uneducated eye it is hard to tell, furthermore better safe than sorry
 

dougers31

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If you dip zoas/palys in hyd. peroxide you need to take special precautions as well. I suffered from what I believe was palytoxin poisoning about 8 years ago and posted the story here: https://www.reef2reef.com/threads/peroxide-warning.59376/

I do take issue with some comments on here implying that only the plain or ugly palys contain dangerous toxin... have all of them in the trade been tested?? In my case none of mine were ugly and I believe the main culprit was my purple death(how ironic) protopalys.

Also, the current story seems odd though as it doesn't mention how the palytoxin could have been made airborne. They must have at some point boiled the rock or something to poison everyone in the house I would think...
 
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Proteus Meep

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Another often overlooked route for palytoxin becoming aerosolized and entering your body is the good old protein skimmer that many reefer's have on their tanks , if a colony of palytoxin containing creatures has been damaged or annoyed for whatever reason within a system it is possible to become airborne and inhaled via that route
 
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Stigigemla

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In the spring of 2018 I had my last Palytoxin poisoning. I was trying to take out some stones with Palythoa on and some off the bottom glass with a scraper. I thought I had all necessary precautions made but forgeot my trousers. Wearing a halfmask with carbon for breathing double gloves and rainjacket to protect from drops I thought I was safe. And of course every window in the house open. Apparently I had a pair of drops on my legs because they started to itch after a few hours.(No wet spots were ever seen on the trousers.) Checking it I saw that an area of about a full hand with fingers on each leg were swollen and reddish. I checked my pulse as 125 instead of 80 as normal.
I went to hospital emergency. At first they didnt believe me but after seeing my legs there was some action. I was laid on a bed with a pulse monitor while the doctor did some background research. After a few hours the pulse was down to 124 and I went home. I never had rised temperature wich surprised both me and the doctor with that pulse. Next morning pulse normal, the color on the leg was away and they were not that swollen anymore.The other Palythoa poisonings I had was much worse. Even if You are careful and know the risks it is easy to miss one of the precautions.

The Palythoa were frags i got in 2006 and they slowly covered half my 420 gallon tank.
 

smartwater101

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Idk seems bit fishy to me I’ve also never heard of issues airborn
There are many examples of it being airborn. People boiling rocks, or using an airhose to blow off rocks.

I poisoned myself and my dog because, after a tank crash, i spent hours cleaning off hair algae and throwing it into a bucket. A gooey mess off a large zoa colony, that i thought was long gone, was part of the gunk i was unknowingly pulling up. I dumped the bucket in the tub, used the showerhead to wash it down, and Boom. Poison mist.

You can read more about my experience HERE
 
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Darth.Daddy12

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There are many examples of it being airborn. People boiling rocks, or using an airhose to blow off rocks.

I poisoned myself and my dog because, after a tank crash, i spent hours cleaning off hair algae and throwing it into a bucket. A gooey mess off a large zoa colony, that i thought was long gone, was part of the gunk i was pulling up. Dumped the bucket in the tub, used the showerhead to wash it down. Boom, poison mist.

You can read more about my experience HERE
Idk from what I’ve read it has to have direct route to blood..

I do find something interesting though. Just throwing this out there as it makes more sense to me.. you have chlorine in tap water (as well as many other cleaning agents) that you were using to wash off super dirty items from a crashed tank likely lots of detritus with built up ammonia levels in a small unventilated room of your house using possibly hot steamy water..

Sounds like you possibly created mustard gas.

There is one thing in common with what your saying though and that’s introducing water vapor in some form. I’ve never boiled rock to clean it. I see the risk of many other things by doing this even best case you’re standing over a pot of boiling ammonia which alone can burn your lungs.
 

Darth.Daddy12

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Thanks for that link. It confirms everything I have learned over the last 9 years and I encourage everyone to read it. OMG it is geeky, but in this research project on retail sale of Palys...

"Between the two stores, eight additional specimens were acquired. Of these, three were found to be highly toxic (Table 3). "

3 out of 8 but hey. Maybe it is different outside of VA.

As an experienced person I am likely OK. I have read all the fake news and don't have time to get sick. That said, I have multiple small lacerations from vermetid snail shells, razor blades & general male stupidity, so I take that into account. As a service person who has to break down infested tanks... well their odds get substantially worse. Only two of our staff got sick in April from doing so. Only cost them 1 day of work. They only had to get it out of the tank, and back to the store dumpster. The owner only missed 1/2 day. At 15 years experience, he knew better.

As a newbie managing/cleaning on their own? Really? Who knows what they might do to save $8/lbs rock. Wipe eyes/mouth/nose/cuts? Powerwash, propane torch, boiling? At one time I would've BBQ the stuff.

Only a newbie gets sold POS paly because it is the one animal they cannot kill. I swear there are some living dry, today, over my neighbor's fence, 7 yrs after I chucked it.

I won't sell/trade/buy the green/tan/brown paly stuff and neither will my LFS. Nobody should sell it. Full stop. It ain't that good looking and certainly not worth getting sick over.

The tricky bit is... what is "it"? I FEEL like I know what "it" is. So, Sunny-D Palys are good? Purple People Eaters are cool? Where is the line? I will trust the science when they take a look.

This is a forum suitable to sourcing such an answer. In the meantime, ugly palys will suffer discrimination. On this item only, my kids will understand.

Be safe.
It’s more too it then that.. I think people are not reading the report correctly and you even referenced it incorrectly..

They first bought 16 different at store 1

If those 16 only one tested positive. It’s the one most of us know to stay away from with the dark single coloration and white dots on heads.. p-hydro something another

They then went to two other stores (part you’re referencing) and purposely looked for as many similar looking ones as possible. Of those only 4 tested for anything and only one exactly resembling the first one was deemed highly toxic.

All versions testing positive were found as a contaminant of love rock or part of non named (assorted) tanks of wild caught indonision.

Even still only 2 types are proven toxic carriers.. the “toxia” and this one pictured which is dry distinct.

The testing was mostly dna testing looking for markers accocisted with the having the ability to possibly but not definitively produce toxin.

To date if this FDA and smitsonian peer reviewed study there is only 2 known toxic versions one of which they couldn’t even get a sample of cause it’s so rare. And then this Indonesian one. The other 4 listed could be toxic to some level based on dna markers but they didn’t extract any toxin from them.

End of the day buy known sought after know species cultured by know sources and you’ll never have need to worry. Buy bright colored stock and stay away from anything that’s solid dark coloration that looks like it has ick.

A5966C03-E0D9-4672-9D75-89DB93C35AAF.jpeg
 

SandJ

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Found it, this is Julian Sprung’s talk in 2015. There may be more recent ones but still has good info:
 

RichardinMA

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I can assure you from personal experience, twice (stupidly), that this is NOT crap. There is a very dangerous species, Palythoa heliodiscus, that is still very much in the hobby and trade. I see it in most stores and even online as the cheap, “Ice Blue” Paly although that species has quite a bit of variation in color- mostly greys through browns with that charteristic pattern on the disk. They are incredibly fast growers and spread quickly which is why they often need to be scraped off of rockwork. It’s no joke when it happens, took about a week for my vision to be fully restored, and it’s a pretty miserable experience all in all. Luckily, my second exposure was not as bad as my first but they both took quite a bit of steroids and bronchodilators to get my lungs back open again.

While I don’t think anyone should fear their tanks, I do think that people need to accept the fact that some contents can be dangerous. None of the little Zoanthus species should be much concern but Palythoa heliodiscus is nothing to play with without VERY good precautions.

492C79C2-ED87-486B-B2F3-952EBADA46E6.jpeg 81575DBE-2859-4775-B76A-6E705D12A610.jpeg
 

Cherie cook

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Idk from what I’ve read it has to have direct route to blood..

I do find something interesting though. Just throwing this out there as it makes more sense to me.. you have chlorine in tap water (as well as many other cleaning agents) that you were using to wash off super dirty items from a crashed tank likely lots of detritus with built up ammonia levels in a small unventilated room of your house using possibly hot steamy water..

Sounds like you possibly created mustard gas.

There is one thing in common with what your saying though and that’s introducing water vapor in some form. I’ve never boiled rock to clean it. I see the risk of many other things by doing this even best case you’re standing over a pot of boiling ammonia which alone can burn your lungs.
We were using well water.....no chlorine, no “mustard gas.” It was aerosolized because I scrubbed it and rinsed with water.
 
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