Blue-Green Algae Found at Bronte Beach: Halton’s Health Department Warns

Halton Region’s Health Department is advising residents to avoid swimming and wading in the waters at Bronte Beach Park in Oakville because blue-green algae (BGA or cyanobacterial toxins) have been identified at this location. Oakville residents are also advised not to eat fish caught in Bronte and not to let pets play in or drink the water. Animals can be more susceptible than people

Halton’s drinking water is not affected and continues to be safe.

Some BGA have the potential to produce toxins or skin irritants. Adverse health effects from BGA are mainly related to ingestion of BGA-contaminated water or skin irritation and itching from skin contact with BGA-contaminated water.

As a precaution, signs have been posted to warn beach users.

“Conditions at the beaches can change from one day to the next,” stated Dr. Monir Taha, Halton Region Associate Medical Officer of Health. “We encourage residents to visit our website for up to date information.”

If you have been swimming or wading in these waters and feel unwell, please visit your physician or walk-in clinic.

*How will you know if  you’ve accidentally come into contact with Blue Green Algae/Cyanobacterial Toxins?

If you ingest water, fish or blue-green algal products containing elevated levels of toxins, you may experience headaches, fever, diarrhoea, abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting. If you swim in contaminated water, you may get itchy and irritated eyes and skin, as well as other hay fever-like allergic reactions. If you suspect you might have come into contact with cyanobacterial toxins and are experiencing any of these symptoms, rinse any scum off your body and consult your physician immediately.

*Are children more vulnerable than adults?

Yes. Children are at greater risk than adults of developing serious liver damage should they ingest high levels of microcystins, because of their comparatively lower body weight.

For more information, dial 311 or visit www.halton.ca/beaches.

*Health Canada

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