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Aug. 14, 2022

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Clark County Public Health issues warning for Lacamas, Round lakes due to toxin levels

By , Columbian Assistant Metro Editor

Clark County Public Health issued warning advisories Wednesday for Lacamas and Round lakes in Camas due to elevated levels of cyanotoxins from blue-green algae.

Public Health collected water samples from both lakes Monday, and the results came back with cyanotoxins above the threshold levels recommended by the Washington Department of Health.

Warning signs will be placed at public access points at both lakes, according to a county news release.

Public Health said it is monitoring the lakes and will take weekly water samples while blue-green algae blooms are present to test toxin levels.

Blue-green algae can pose a significant health risk if the cyanobacteria or toxins are ingested, inhaled or come into contact with skin. Inhaled bacteria or toxins can cause wheezing, coughing, chest tightness and shortness of breath. Skin contact can lead to rash, itching, blisters and eye irritation.

If water with cyanotoxins is accidentally swallowed, symptoms can include abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting, numbness of the lips, tingling in fingers and toes, and dizziness. The toxins can be fatal to pets that drink the water.

Officials recommend no swimming or water skiing, no water contact for animals and no drinking lake water. People should avoid areas of scum and should clean fish well.

Public Health is also monitoring blue-green algae blooms at Vancouver Lake, but samples collected from there showed toxin levels below threshold levels set by the state. People and pets should avoid areas of scum in Vancouver Lake.


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