Toxic Algae Health Advisory Issued for Lake Lawrence

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Thurston County Public Health and Social Services reported a toxic algae bloom at Lake Lawrence on Friday, Sept. 17.

Lake Lawrence’s lab results for microcystins showed a toxin level of 15 ug/L, whereas the state advisory toxin level for microcystins is set at 8.0 ug/L.

“Microcystins are a liver toxin and possible human carcinogen,” stated a health department news release. “Microcystins can also cause illness in livestock and pets that drink affected water.” 

Health department staff will collect weekly samples until the algae bloom clears and will post warning signs at the boat launch and other locations around the lake.

Health officials recommend taking increased precautions to avoid the health risks posed by potential toxins when an algae bloom is present.

Precautions include not drinking the lake’s water and keeping pets and livestock away. People should avoid contact with water containing algae, and should not swim or take part in other water-related activities. People also should not eat fish that come from the lake during an algae bloom and should avoid areas of scum when boating. 

For more information about toxic algae blooms and health risks, go online to www.thurstoncountywa.gov/phss/Pages/algae-harmful-blooms.aspx.

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