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Blue-green algae in Potomac prompts advisory

Friday - 8/5/2011, 5:19pm  ET

INDIAN HEAD, Md. - Maryland health officials say a potentially toxic blue-green algae has been found in the mouth of the Mattawoman Creek near Indian Head and the Potomac River south of the creek, and they are urging residents to avoid swimming and other water contact in the area.

State health officials say water where blooms of the algae occur can cause skin irritation, nausea and other problems through prolonged contact or if swallowed. The blooms can cause water to appear bright green with a surface scum that resembles green paint. The meat of healthy fish caught in waters with this type of blue-green algae is not known to pose a health risk, but internal organs may concentrate toxins from the algae.

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Online:

DNR Blue-green algae facts: http://www.dnr.state.md.us/bay/hab/microcystis2.html


(Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)