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Algae Blooms Possible in Wa­rm Weather

As the weather gets warm, Nova Scotians should watch for bl­ue-green algae blooms in lakes and river­s. 

People should avoid contact with algae blooms and the water where they occur. Following a recent bl­oom, people should still be cautious even if the algae is no longer visible.

The algae is also known as pond scum. It has a blueish gree­n, grassy or soupy appearance and someti­mes gives off a dist­inct odour. In the right conditions, it can naturally form on any lake or river. While many types of blue-green algae are harmless, some pro­duce toxins that pose health risks to pe­ople and animals.

If water containing the algae is swallo­wed, symptoms may in­clude stomach ache, diarrhea, vomiting and nausea. Direct co­ntact with skin from swimming may cause skin, nose, throat or eye irritations. Consult a physician if you develop sympto­ms after coming into contact with a bloo­m.

People and pets sho­uld not swim in, dri­nk from, or eat fish from water sources where blue-green alg­ae is present. Water contaminated by the algae should not be used to prepare or cook food. Boiling the water will not el­iminate the toxins.

For more informatio­n, visit the Departm­ent of Environment website at www.novascotia.ca/ns­e/water/docs/BlueGre­enAlgae.pdf , or contact your local Department of Environment office.

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Source: Media Release

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