News release

Suspected Algae Bloom Spotted in Lake Ainslie

Residents of Inverness County are advised to take precautions when using Lake Ainslie, after a possible algae bloom has appeared on the lake.

"Algae blooms are a naturally occurring phenomenon and the health risk is fairly low," said Bill Rideout, environmental health consultant with for the Department of Health Promotion and Protection. "We do not have confirmation that a bloom exists, but the timing of this suspected bloom is nearly identical to a bloom on the lake that was noticed last year."

Toxins produced by some algae can affect health. People should not drink the water or use it to prepare or cook food, or to brush teeth.

Boiling the water will not eliminate potential toxins.

Because of previous algae blooms in the lake water, samples will not be tested.

People who have ingested water containing toxins from algae can experience stomach ache, diarrhea, vomiting and nausea.

Recreational use of the water, bathing and showering is also not advised. Direct contact with toxins from algae can cause skin and eye irritation. If symptoms persist after a few days, those affected should consult a physician.

Pets and livestock should not be permitted to swim in, or drink, the water.

For more information, read the fact sheet on the Department of Environment website at www.gov.ns.ca/nse/water/docs/BlueGreenAlgae.pdf .

FOR BROADCAST USE:

Residents of Inverness County are advised to take precautions when using Lake Ainslie after a possible algae bloom has appeared on the lake.

Bill Rideout, an environmental health consultant with Health Promotion and Protection, says algae blooms are a naturally occurring phenomenon and the health risk is fairly low.

Toxins produced by some algae can affect health. People should not drink the water or use it to prepare or cook food, or to brush teeth. Boiling the water will not eliminate potential toxins.

Recreational use of the water, bathing and showering is also not advised. Direct contact with toxins from algae can cause skin and eye irritation. If you're symptoms persist after a few days, you should consult a physician.

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Media Contact:

Tony Kiritsis
Health Promotion and Protection 902-424-0585 E-mail:
Michelle R. Lucas
Department of Environment 902-424-2575 E-mail: