Blue Green Algae Spotted in Lake Carmi and Shelburne Pond

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

DATE: July 1, 2005

Contact: Bill Bress
State Toxicologist
Vermont Department of Health
802-863-7220

BURLINGTON - The Vermont Department of Health is closely monitoring a patch of blue-green algae spotted by the Department of Environmental Conservation in Lake Carmi on Thursday, less than half a mile from the state park’s three beaches and 178 camping areas in Franklin.

Algae was also spotted in Shelburne Pond, which has no swimming access, but does have a boat launch.

No blue-green algae is currently present along the shoreline areas of Lake Carmi, the state’s largest campground. The state park is booked solid for the holiday weekend, and The Department of Health has notified park rangers and the local health officer to closely observe the algae and to declare a health alert if it nears or reaches the shore.

“The algae is currently not in the swimming or recreation areas, but boaters should be careful not to jump into - or to let their dog jump into – the blue-green scum spotted offshore,” said Bill Bress, state toxicologist for the Vermont Department of Health.

Some kinds of blue-green algae produce dangerous toxins. Skin exposure can result in irritation or allergic reactions, and drinking algae that is producing toxins can result in nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Children and dogs are considered to be at higher risk because they are more likely to drink the water.

Camp owners should be aware that common purification methods of water containing blue-green algae, such as boiling, ultraviolet light and chlorination, will not completely destroy the toxins. To report a blue-green algae bloom, call 1-800-439-8550.

For more information on-line go to www.healthyvermonters.info/hp/waterquality/bgalgae.shtml