Iowans Cautioned to Watch for Algae Blooms

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By Rachel Begle

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - An environmental group is cautioning Iowans to be aware of algae blooms in the state's lakes and ponds this summer. The issue is a concern because of high levels of nitrogen and phosphates from farmland runoff and sunny hot conditions.

The Iowa Environmental Council says to avoid water with a bright blue or green colored tint, thick scum that look like spilled paint, or areas that smell bad. These conditions could produce toxins that can make people and animals sick.

Exposure can occur through swimming, drinking, or breathing airborne toxins. Symptoms include breathing difficulties and skin rash.

Advisories have been issued at five state-managed beaches including Brushy Creek Beach, Crandall's Beach at Big Spirit Lake, Green Valley Beach, Lake of Three Fires Beach, and Viking Lake Beach.

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