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Cyanotoxins close Vancouver Lake again

Clark County Public Health again has closed the swim beach at Vancouver Lake Regional Park after water testing revealed elevated levels of cyanotoxins.

Laboratory analysis of water samples taken Monday found cyanotoxins above the Washington State Department of Health’s threshold levels.

Closure signs have or will be posted at the swim beach and other public access points to the lake. Public Health advises against all water contact, including wading, swimming, kayaking, paddle boarding and canoeing.

Blooms of cyanobacteria, also known as blue-green algae, are currently present at the swim beach, Burnt Bridge Creek inlet and flushing channel.

Blue-green algae can pose a significant health risk if cyanotoxins are ingested, inhaled or come into contact with skin. Inhaled toxins can cause wheezing, coughing, chest tightness and shortness of breath. Skin contact can lead to itching, rashes and blisters.

If water with cyanotoxins is accidentally swallowed, the bacteria can cause abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting, numbness of the lips, tingling in fingers and toes, and dizziness. The toxins can be fatal to pets that drink the water.

Public Health has been monitoring cyanobacteria blooms at Vancouver Lake since June 12 and will continue to monitor the lake throughout the summer.

As long as blooms are present, Public Health will take weekly water samples to test toxin levels. Signs will be updated as conditions change.

Vancouver Lake Regional Park remains open. Water in restrooms and shelters is not affected and remains safe to drink.

Information about blue-green algae and current advisories are posted on the Public Health public beaches webpage.

Algae blooms in other water bodies can be reported online at www.clark.wa.gov/public-health/report-health-concern.


Source: https://www.columbian.com

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