Heartland man tragically dies of apparent palytoxin poisoning hours after cleaning aquarium

HEARTLAND, Texas A Heartland man tragically died of apparent palytoxin poisoning hours after cleaning his household saltwater aquatic tank.

On Sunday, February 21, 2021, at approximately 8:52 p.m., the Dallas Fire Department's HAZMAT team was asked to respond, as mutual aid with the Crandall Police Department and Crandall Fire Department, to a home located in the 2100 block of Long Forest Road in the Heartland community.

There, Crandall Police Department Chief Dean Winters confirms to a resident was exposed to palytoxin while cleaning a saltwater aquatic tank.

The resident, later identified by family and friends as Marlon Linton, was transported by CareFlite to a Dallas hospital. Linton was later pronounced deceased.

In addition to the Dallas Fire-Rescue HAZMAT team, Winters says a biologist who is familiar with the aquatic life that can present palytoxin was dispatched to the residence.

"Palytoxin is known to be a dangerous and often deadly toxin which can cause significant morbidity and mortality," according to a 2015 research journal published by Hindawi. "Cases of human exposure have been documented from ingestion of contaminated seafood, dermal exposure, and inhalational exposure. This rare toxin which is most often found in soft corals and dinoflagellates has been definitively identified in zoanthid corals found both in the homes of collectors and for sale commercially."

Linton was remembered by family and friends as a devoted father and husband.