KEARNEY, ON – A blue-green algae bloom has been detected by the North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit.

It is on Sand Lake near Kearney, Ontario.

The notice reads in part: “Species of the algae capable of producing toxins were confirmed by the laboratory of the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks. The toxins in harmful algae can irritate the skin and, if swallowed, cause diarrhea and vomiting.”

The health unit advises residents of Sand Lake could be affected based on their proximity to the bloom, wind direction, water flow and other environmental conditions that cannot be predicted or controlled.

With so many factors authorities are unable to pinpoint the location of toxins so a general caution should be used when using the lake. They include but are not limited to the following pieces of advice.

·        Do not use the water. This includes drinking, cooking, bathing, and brushing teeth. Note: Using a private water system or boiling the water will not destroy the toxins.
·        Do not swim and avoid water sports when a bloom is present.
·        If skin contact does occur, wash with soap and water then rinse thoroughly with clean water to remove algae.
·        Limit the amount of fish flesh you eat. Some toxins can build up in fish and shellfish. Do not eat the liver, kidneys and other organs. Be careful not to cut the organs when filleting.
·        The Health Unit has not closed the beaches, but rather advises individuals that they need to take caution in the area.

You can find out more about harmful algae at myhealthunit.ca/algae or by calling the Health Unit at 705-474-1400, extension 5400 or 1-800-563-2808.