Beach Algae Bloom Results Concerning

Blue green algae. June 11 2013. (BlackburnNews.com file photo)

Swimmers are still being urged to steer clear of Leamington’s Hillman Marsh Beach after test results revealed high levels of blue-green algae.

An advisory has remained in effect since last week and potential toxin levels are still a concern.

Manager of health inspection with the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit Mike Tudor says the results came back with 7.5 parts per billion when looking at algae bloom toxins. “We call an advisory anything above 1.5 parts per billion, up to ten parts per billion,” he says.

Beaches are closed when toxins exceed ten parts per billion. Even when beaches remain accessible, Tudor says be careful. “Be on the lookout if the water looks cloudy, or green paint or pea soup in nature, or has a floating scum layer — avoid swimming in those waters,” Tudor.

He also says don’t let pets or children play in the water or scum layer at the shoreline. “If you swim or come in contact with this we always recommend that you shower off the contaminated water,” says Tudor.

Swallowing small amounts can lead to headaches, fever, vomiting and abdominal pain. Ingesting large amounts could damage the liver, he says.

Inspectors will be out sampling area beaches Wednesday and Thursday.