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Ill. EPA warns against water with algal blooms

Published: Friday, July 19, 2013 7:29 a.m. CDT

SPRINGFIELD — The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency is warning against coming in contact with water populated by algal blooms.

EPA Director Lisa Bonnett says blue-green algal blooms are capable of producing toxins that can harm health.

Algal blooms grow well in shallow water getting lots of sunshine. Their strong color can make the water pea-green, blue-green or reddish-brown. Foam or scum often forms on the surface near the bloom.

Bonnett warns against swimming, boating or other water activities that include coming in contact with or swallowing water that has algal blooms.

EPA testing showed the most common algal toxin to be below harmful levels until last year's drought.

The toxin can cause rashes, asthma-like symptoms, abdominal pain or liver damage.

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