Illinois officials remind residents to be aware of blue-green algae on waterways

Illinois officials remind residents to be aware of blue-green algae on waterways
Some blue-green algae are harmless, while some can produce toxic chemicals causing sickness.

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (KFVS) - The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Public Health are reminding state residents to use caution if they are planning activities on state waterways - including lakes, rivers, streams and ponds.

During summer months water conditions are ideal for blue-green algae growth - cyanobacteria - which are microscopic organisms that naturally occur in lakes and streams.

Some blue-green algae are harmless, while some can produce toxic chemicals causing sickness.

Residents should avoid contact with suspicious looking water that:

• looks like spilled green or blue-green paint;

• has surface scums, mats, or films;

• is discolored or has green-colored streaks; or

• has greenish globs suspended in the water below the surface.

Residents should also keep pets and children out of the water.

If you are concerned you have symptoms of expossure, contact your health care provider or call the Illinois Poison Center at 1-800-222-1222. If your pet experiences symptoms that may be a result of exposure, contact your veterinarian.

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