RIDOH raises concerns over algae in local ponds

(AP Photo/Haraz N. Ghanbari, File)

MIDDLETOWN, R.I. (WPRI) — The Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) and the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (RIDEM) are advising the public to avoid contact with two ponds because of blue-green algae blooms.

St. Mary’s Pond in Portsmouth and South Easton Pond in Middletown both have high levels of this blue-green algae known as cyanobacteria.

According to the RIDOH, cyanobacteria can be harmful to humans and animals. Contact with the algae can irritate the skin, nose, eyes and/or throat. Other side effects include stomach ache, diarrhea, vomiting, and nausea.

Health officials recommend rinsing your skin in clean water, bathing and washing your clothes in you come in contact with this water. Similarly, and pets that have swam in the water should be washed.

A statement says that the public should be avoiding any body of water in Rhode Island that is bright green or has a dense, floating algal mat on it’s surface.

Blue-green algae blooms may look like green paint or thick pea soup. Toxins may persist in the water even after a blue-green algae bloom is no longer visible.

The advisory will remain in effect until further notice.

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