High alert blue-green algae at dam

BLUE-GREEN algae in Lake Awoonga are currently at high alert level.

Exposure to this level of blue-green algae carries an increased risk of adverse health effects.

Gladstone Area Water Board’s chief executive officer Jim Grayson said the recreational hazard alert has been upgraded to high and was expected to remain at this level throughout summer.

The increase in blue-green algae cells is usual for this time of year and is a natural phenomenon in many Australian waterways.

Contact with blue-green algae (toxic and non-toxic forms) through water-based activities can cause problems such as skin rashes, swollen lips, eye irritation and redness, earache and itchiness, sore throat, hayfever symptoms, asthma and possibly promotion of skin tumours.

Wearing wet suits may result in greater risk of skin irritation because algal material trapped inside the wet suit may be in close contact with the skin for long periods.

Anglers are reminded that dangerous algal toxins can also accumulate in the internal organs of fish and in mussels.

Blue-green algae hazard alert signs are located at Lake Awoonga and should be referred to when visiting the lake.

These signs have information on blue-green algae and indicate the current alert level. Any inquiries regarding this matter should be directed to the Gladstone Area Water Board on 4976 3000.



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