Press Release on Blue Green Algae:
Cayuga County Health and Human Services
160 Genesee Street
Auburn, NY 13021
For Immediate Release: Wednesday September 12, 2012
Contact: Eileen O’Connor, P.E.
Director of Environmental Health
Phone (315) 253-1405
Blue – Green Algae
The Cayuga County Health Department has recently received phone calls from County residents reporting that there are algae blooms on Owasco Lake. Residents are concerned that these blooms are blue-green algae. A water sample was taken from a bloom which was located at the south end of the lake. The sample was sent to the New York State Department of Health and they confirmed the presence of blue-green algae.
The Cayuga County Health Department would like to advise people that at any time surface water is visibly discolored or has surface scums from algae, they should suspect the presence of blue-green algae and avoid contact or consumption.
Blue-green algae is of concern as it can produce toxins that could pose a health risk to people and animals when they are exposed to them in large enough quantities. Adverse health effects could occur when the blooms are swallowed while swimming or through contact with the skin.
A good website that has pictures of various types of algae can be found at http://www.dec.ny.gov/chemical/81962.html.
The Cayuga County Health Department has the following advice:
1. People and pets should not swim in water that is discolored or has surface scum. If contact does occur, wash with soap and water or rinse thoroughly with clean water to remove algae.
2. Avoid bathing, showering, or washing dishes in untreated water that is experiencing an algae bloom.
3. Do not let your pet drink water experiencing blue-green algae blooms.
4. People are encouraged to call the Environmental Health Division at 315-253-1405 if they suspect a blue-green algae bloom.
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