Public Health issues warning advisory for Lacamas Lake due to elevated toxin levels

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Clark County Public Health issued a warning advisory at Lacamas Lake due to elevated levels of cyanotoxins from harmful algae on Aug. 10, stated a news release. 

The release said public health has monitored the algae blooms at the lake since early July. The advisory was in place for a few weeks in July but was lifted after water quality improved. Results from water samples taken on Aug. 8 concluded that cyanotoxins went above the threshold levels recommended by the Washington Department of Health, according to the release. Warnings will also be placed at public access points around the lake.

Cyanotoxins can be harmful to people, especially young children, and deadly for small pets that drink the water. Health officials recommend:

• No swimming or water skiing

• No water contact for animals

  Avoiding areas of scum when using motorized boats, paddle boarding, kayaking or canoeing



• No drinking lake water

• Cleaning fish well and discarding organs

The release said public health will continue to monitor Lacamas Lake and will test the water toxin levels weekly. The signs will be updated as conditions change.

If algae blooms are ingested, the release stated they can pose a significant health risk. When inhaled, it can cause wheezing, coughing, chest tightness and shortage of breath. Skin contact can lead to rash, itching, blisters and eye irritation. When swallowed, symptoms include abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting, numbness of the lips, tingling in fingers and toes and dizziness. 

Additional information about harmful algae blooms and current advisories are posted at clark.wa.gov/public-health/public-beaches. To report algae blooms in other bodies of water, visit clark.wa.gov/public-health/report-health-concern.

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