toxicity question

greystreet41

In Memoriam
alright, 6PM last night I moved a large zoa colony from one tank to another (no gloves). I was rough on the colony trying to get it to stay put and a few polyps actually broke off. Went to dinner. Came home. Woke up at 2 AM sick as a dog...typical flu symptoms. I'm feeling better tonight, but my hands (particularly the meaty part between your thumb and index finger) have been getting more and more numb/asleep as the day has gone on. My right hand which I handled the colony with is more intense than the left hand. It doesn't hurt, just numb/asleep. I've read all about palytoxins I could today..a lot of contradicting info is what it seems to come down to. My conclusion...I either ate a bad meal last night, actually have some type of flu thing, the zoas got me or maybe even a combination. Not jumping to conclusions. I wouldn't even think the zoas except for the numb hands and seeing that as a common thread in marine toxins. Throw in my paranoia, and well...there ya go.
share freely.
thanks,
grey
 

surfnvb7

Premium Member
first of all, have you read the sticky thread at the top of this forum? if not, please do, and keep in mind to take all of these people's comments with a grain of salt.

if you have any doubt that you have become infected with palytoxin, stop reading, go to the hospital.

but as for specifics, palytoxin acts primarily on the heart muscle, and will stop the contractions. every neurotoxin acts on a specific neurochemical receptor, in this case, it acts on the muscarinic receptors of the heart. it is bad science to think that every neurotoxin or venom, will make your skin go numb. b/c taking away sensation, acts on an entirely different neurochemical receptor. tetradotoxin (in some puffer fish) is an example of a neurotoxin that acts in this manner.

zoas and other corals are covered with millions of chemicals we know nothing about. it could have easily been something else.

but if you are feeling these flu like symptoms, i'd say dont take any chances and go to your local ER to get a blood test, tell them you were handling corals, and to look for elevated white blood cell counts and any abnormal toxins. again, could be anything really. not really worried about the numbness as much as the flu like symptoms. but just tell them all of the symptoms you've been having.

its never a good idea to take a chance with this stuff. if you are truely infected with any one of these neurotoxins, and it makes it to your bloodstream, you will not have long to live and thats the bottom line.

not trying to scare you or anything, just gota be careful and know the facts that this is nothing to mess around with and read about "after the fact", if ya know what i mean :)

good luck, let us know if it clears up. :)
 

gflat65

New member
I had something similar happen after spending about three hours cutting zoas for a frag swap. I started to feel my whole right arm go numb to the shoulder. Then I got a little dizzy and slightly disoriented (nothing from the peanut gallery;)). The numbness lasted for about an hour or so as did the dizziness (almost a pleasant dizziness-go to the light, CarolAnne). I didn't get any flu type symptoms, though. Did you lick your fingers afterwards;)? Were they fingerlickin good? Just messing with you. I'll give you a call to see about coming out later today.

I don't know what caused my little bout of zoacraziness, but there must be some common thread. If palytoxin only affects the heart, it must have been one of the myriad other compounds. Fearing that no one would be able to tell the difference between my zoa-addled brain and the normal me, I let it pass, though if it had gotten worse, the wife would have dragged me in somewhere. I'm glad to hear you are at least feeling better. Maybe you won't notice the wet pockets when I leave;).

What dosage of straight palytoxin would it require to cause death? I've never heard of anyone dying strictly from zoa poisoning, and with all the zoa freaks around, you'd think someone would have had a close brush with it...
 

gflat65

New member
And I though tetrodotoxin was bad stuff. Good googity. .15g/kg. So, for a 221 pound hypothetical person (~221 lbs/100kg), your talking ~15g of palytoxin. Do we know how much palytoxin there is in the run of the mill zoa in terms of percentages from tissue samples or anything? 15g seems like a lot of zoa juice, even at 100% toxin. I'm sure there are other reactions at lower dosage, though, right? Interesting topic.
 

surfnvb7

Premium Member
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=7496132#post7496132 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by gflat65
And I though tetrodotoxin was bad stuff. Good googity. .15g/kg. So, for a 221 pound hypothetical person (~221 lbs/100kg), your talking ~15g of palytoxin. Do we know how much palytoxin there is in the run of the mill zoa in terms of percentages from tissue samples or anything? 15g seems like a lot of zoa juice, even at 100% toxin. I'm sure there are other reactions at lower dosage, though, right? Interesting topic.

i dont think its been researched. jreimer said that it varies depending on the zoa, and species of zoanthid/paly. i didnt check your math, but to get 15g of palytoxin that would take an awful lot of zoas i'm guessing.

the REAL scary thing is botulinum toxin. which is essentially the deadliest toxin on earth. and is the SAME thing used in Botex cosmetic shots. botulinum toxin can be obtained much more easily than anthrax, and other similar toxins and spores that are at the top of that list. i'm gonna end it there though, i shouldnt be discussing this information anymore though or i'll find the FBI at my door. :rolleyes:
 

nathansinger

New member
I remember the first time I found out that zoas could be toxic. I was unpacking a shipment and then my arm from my elbow to the tips of my fingers went almost completely numb for a couple of hours. I didn't experience any flu-like symptoms though... That being said, I imagine that different pepole react differently.
 
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