Algae Bloom Harmful to Humans and Animals
Providence- The Rhode Island Department of Health (DOH) and Department of Environmental Management issued an advisory last week for users of Blackamore Pond in Cranston.
The state agencies announced the discovery of a blue-green algae bloom. Also known as cyanobacteria, the algae’s toxins can cause harm to humans and animals.
Avoid recreational activities in and on Blackamore Pond
According to the release, “people should avoid recreational activities (like swimming, boating, or fishing) in Blackamore Pond until further notice and be careful not to ingest water or eat fish from the pond. Pets can also be affected by exposure to the algal toxins and thus owners should not allow pets to drink this water or swim in the water.”
Adverse effects of exposure were said to be more likely in young children and pets who are more likely to drink contaminated water.
Skin rashes, and irritation of the nose, eyes, and or throat are common side effects that result from skin contact with water containing algal toxins. Ingestion of algal contaminated water may cause stomach ache, diarrhea, vomiting, and nausea, per the release.Less common health effects were said to include “dizziness, headache, fever, liver damage, and nervous system damage.”
DOH advised anyone experiencing symptoms who came in contact with Blackamore Pond to contact their healthcare provider.
Department of Health Recommendations
- If you come into contact with the water, rinse your skin with clean water as soon as possible, and when you get home, take a shower and wash your clothes.
- Similarly, if your pet comes in contact with the water, immediately wash it off with clean water.
- Do not let the animal lick algae off of its fur.
- Call a veterinarian if your animal shows any of the symptoms of blue-green algae poisoning, which include loss of energy, loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, or any unexplained sickness that occurs within a day or so after being in contact with water.
- People are cautioned that toxins may persist in the water after the blue-green algae bloom is no longer visible.
DOH and RIDEM noted that the advisory will likely remain in effect through the end of the year.