Clark County Public Health issued a warning advisory at Lacamas Lake after elevated levels of cyanotoxins from harmful algae were detected.
Results of water samples taken from the lake on July 11 concluded that cyanotoxins reached above the threshold levels recommended by the Washington Department of Health, stated a news release. Warning signs will be placed at public access points around the lake.
According to the release, cyanotoxins can be harmful to people, especially children, and deadly for small pets who drink the water. Health officials recommend no swimming or water skiing, no water contact for animals, and avoiding areas of scum when riding boats, paddle boarding, kayaking, or canoeing. People are also advised not to drink lake water and are encouraged to clean their fish well and discard their organs.
The release stated the health department will continue to monitor Lacamas Lake and will take weekly water samples to test the toxin levels. The signs at the lake will be updated as conditions change.
Harmful algal blooms can also pose significant harm if cyanobacteria or toxins are consumed via ingestion, inhalation, or skin contact, the release stated. Inhaled bacteria can cause wheezing, coughing, chest tightness and shortness of breath, while skin contact can cause rashes, itching, blisters and eye irritation.
The release stated that if cyanotoxins are accidentally swallowed, people can experience abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting, numbness of the lips, tingling in fingers and toes, and dizziness.
Additional information about harmful algal blooms and current advisories can be found online at clark.wa.gov/public-health/public-beaches.
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