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Not quite like a non-toxic blooming onion

Post by News Tribune Staff on Feb. 29, 2008 at 12:53 pm with No Comments »
February 29, 2008 12:53 pm

This press release arrived in my inbox. Even though it’s called toxic and made of algae, toxic algae bloom still sounds like a lovely plant. But apparently it’s not:

A toxic algae bloom has been identified in Clear Lake. Toxic algal blooms can be harmful to people and pets and should be avoided. Toxic algae blooms continue in American Lake, Spanaway Lake, and Bresemann Pond.

As a general guideline regarding all Pierce County lakes, areas that have heavy concentrations of algae should be avoided. These areas are usually along portions of the shore and resemble green paint or pea soup.

Ingestion of the algae or prolonged contact with the algae may result in illness, such as muscle weakness, vomiting, diarrhea, and/or nausea.

If you swallow a large amount of water containing the algae, please seek immediate medical attention. If a pet has recently (within several hours) ingested lake water with algae and is showing signs such as vomiting, lethargy, disorientation, or seizures it should be taken to a veterinarian immediately. For more information on toxic algae go to the Health Department’s website at tpchd.org and enter "toxic algae" in the search box.

The duration of the blooms is dependent upon weather conditions and biological factors. It is expected that the blooms are likely to pose a health concern for at least the next couple of weeks.

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