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Harmful algal bloom identified in Hillsdale County

Hillsdale Daily News
Hillsdale Daily News
 2022-08-01

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Branch-Hillsdale-St. Joseph Community Health Agency has been notified of a harmful algal bloom at North Lake LeAnn.

The State of Michigan’s Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy laboratory has confirmed the detection of microcystin in the cyanobacterial scums on the northern section of the lake. The Lake LeAnn Property Owners Association is aware of the algal bloom and is taking appropriate steps in working with EGLE and the health agency.

“Lake LeAnn residents have taken the proper steps of contacting the Environmental Assistance Center to share photos and information, which have resulted in appropriate testing and identification of the harmful bloom.” says Paul Andriacchi, environmental health director.  “This is the time of summer where we begin to see algal blooms in bodies of water in our area, and across the state.”

The keys to protection from Harmful Algal Blooms (HAB) are:

  • Recognition: An algal bloom is characterized by a pea green tint to the water. Blooms sometimes appear to have the consistency of paint or scum and float on the surface. The severity of a bloom will fluctuate over the course of a day, depending on wind speed, direction and light intensity.
  • ·Report: Contact the Environmental Assistance Center at 1-800-662-9278 or send an email to AlgaeBloom@Michigan.gov. Pictures of the water are helpful to the investigating staff.
  • Response: Know the steps to take to avoid illness from HAB.

Those steps include:

  • Avoid areas with visible algae and/or scums. Direct contact and ingestion are associated with the greatest health risk.
  • If no scums are visible, but you cannot see your feet when standing knee deep (after sediment has settled) avoid bathing, immersion of head, and/or ingestion.
  • Avoid waterskiing in visible scums or waters with a strong greenish coloration because of the risk of exposure to aerosols.
  • If sailing, sail boarding or undertaking any other activity likely to involve accidental immersion, wear clothing that is loose fitting in the openings. Use of wet suits for water sports may result in greater risk of rashes, as the algal material trapped in the wet suit will be in contact with the skin for longer periods of time.
  • After coming ashore, shower or wash to remove algal material.

Keep pets out of water with algal blooms too. If they do come into contact with the water, rinse them off with fresh water right away to keep them from ingesting the water by licking their paws, bellies or coat.

If you, your children, or pets become sick after contact with water that appears to have an algal bloom, contact your healthcare provider or veterinarian.

This article originally appeared on Hillsdale Daily News: Harmful algal bloom identified in Hillsdale County

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