Environment ministry issues blue-green algae warning for Lake Scugog

Environment ministry issues blue-green algae warning for Lake Scugog

A blue-green algae bloom in Doctors Lake is posing a serious health risk to swimmers.

Fish can intake toxins from the algae as well.

People who come in contact with visible blue-green algae (cyanobacteria), or who ingest water containing blue-green algae may experience skin irritation, rash, sore throat, sore red eyes, swollen lips, fever, nausea and vomiting and/or diarrhea.

St. Johns Riverkeeper Lisa Rinaman said water samples taken the week of July 10 detected the presence of microcystin toxin in the Clay County lake that feeds into the St. Johns River.

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The Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) and the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) are advising people to avoid contact with Elm Lake, Roosevelt Lake and the Japanese Gardens in Roger Williams Park in Providence due to a blue-green algae (or cyanobacteria) bloom in the ponds.

"It is hard to predict when and where a bloom will occur and for how long the toxin associated with the algae will be present, as environmental conditions continually change". "Don't touch it, don't swim in it, don't drink it".

"We take all algal blooms seriously and will continue to respond as quickly and efficiently as possible to both observed and reported algal blooms to ensure the health and safety of Floridians, visitors and our natural resources", said Dee Ann Miller, a DEP spokesperson, in a statement. Miller said the results of that test will be posted as soon as they are available.

Blue-green algae carries unsafe toxins that can cause skin rashes and, "numbness, tingling and dizziness that can lead to difficulty breathing or heart problems.weakness, diarrhea, nausea, cramps and fainting", says the state's warning. There are now no official health advisories issued around the lake.

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