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Blue-green algae found in Lake Nipissing

Harmful algae has been found on the south shore of Lake Nipissing.

The North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit has issued a release saying that the harmful algae, cyanobacteria, or blue-green algae was confirmed by the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks.

The toxins in the algae can cause skin irritation, and, if ingested, diarrhea and vomiting.

The release says that any residents near the south shore of Lake Nipissing may be affected depending on how close they are to the algae bloom in combination with environmental conditions.

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“Due to the many factors involved, government authorities are unable to determine where and when there are no toxins. Users are advised to exercise their judgment before using the water,” the Health Unit advises.

If you live near where a bloom is visible, follow these safety measures:

  • Do not use the water. This includes drinking, cooking, bathing, and brushing teeth. Note: Using a private water system or boiling the water will not destroy the toxins.
  • Do not swim and avoid water sports when a bloom is present.
  • If skin contact does occur, wash with soap and water then rinse thoroughly with clean water to remove algae.
  • Limit the amount of fish flesh you eat. Some toxins can build up in fish and shellfish. Do not eat the liver, kidneys and other organs. Be careful not to cut the organs when filleting.
  • The Health Unit has not closed the beaches, but rather advises individuals that they need to take caution in the area.
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