Fioritura di alghe tossiche nel Lago Geode in Iowa

August 01, 2013 12:00 am  •  Associated Press


A toxic algae bloom at Lake Geode in southeast Iowa has prompted a state environmental toxicologist to warn people to swim elsewhere

Stuart Schmitz, an Iowa Department of Public Health environmental toxicologist, said that cyanobacteria algae are in full bloom in the 187-acre lake near Danville.

The algae can grow in most lakes under certain conditions. Typically, it grows thick in warm, still water and feeds on phosphorus from manure, sewage and fertilizers in runoff.

“This is something that people need to be aware of because this can happen anywhere,” Schmitz said.

The algae’s toxins can sicken people and animals. Those who accidentally ingest water or even breathe in tainted water droplets can develop gastrointestinal symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.

Other symptoms can include cough, runny eyes and nose, sore throat and asthma-like symptoms. Skin rashes also are possible. In severe cases, liver failure can occur.

Last week, state health officials issued an advisory to medical offices to be aware of possible algae blooms.

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources takes samples from water at 39 state-owned beaches to look for toxins.

Chad Dolan, a fisheries biologist for the Iowa DNR, said the chances of algae blooms should decrease when the weather cools, but neither he nor Schmitz could say when the water at Lake Geode would be safe.

“It can appear quickly and can last a few hours, days or weeks,” Schmitz said.


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