Harmful algae and also cyanobacteria (sometimes referred to as blue-green algae) can produce toxins (poisons) that can make people and also animals noble and influence the environment. Learn more about castle to keep you and your pet safe.

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Algaeandcyanobacteriaare simple, plant-like organisms that live in the water. Algae and also cyanobacteria deserve to rapidly flourish out the control, or “bloom,” when water is warm, slow-moving, and full that nutrients. Blooms can take place in new water, salt water, and brackish (a mixture that fresh and salt) water around the world. Blooms sometimes look like foam, scum, mats, or paint on the surface ar of the water. They can also make the water show up different colors, consisting of green, blue, red, brown, or one more color.

Blooms of algae or cyanobacteria deserve to be harmful topeople,animals, orthe environmentif they

produce toxin (poisons)become also denseuse up the oxygen in the water orrelease harmful gases

Blooms have the right to occur more often or become more severe with warmer water temperatures or if the amount of nutrient in the water increases. Level of nutrients increase when fertilizer, sewage, or runoff native cities and also industrial structures get into the water.

How People and Animals get Sick


When in doubt, keep pets out! Cyanobacteria can be deadly because that animals. View our pet Safety Alertfact sheet for tips to safeguard your pets.

People and animals (including pets, livestock, and wildlife) can get sick once they have contact with water or food that consists of certain types ofalgae,cyanobacteria, or your toxins.

People and animals can get sick if they

swim, wade, or pat in or close to contaminated watereat contaminated fish, shellfish oruse contaminated drinking water

Illnesses and also symptoms deserve to vary relying on how a human being or pet was exposed (came into call with algae, cyanobacteria, or their toxins), just how long they to be exposed, which form of toxin was present, and how much toxin to be present.

Symptoms have the right to include

stomach pain, vomiting, or diarrheageneral symptoms, like headacheskin, eye, nose, or neck irritationneurological symptom (for example, muscle weakness, dizziness)

Exposure to part algal and cyanobacterial toxin can additionally harm her liver and also kidneys. If you think you may have actually symptoms brought about by harmful algae, cyanobacteria, or your toxins, call your medical care provider or Poison control Centerexternal icon.

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Animals can get really sick or even die conveniently after exposure come harmful algae and cyanobacteria. Seek veterinary care immediately if your pets or livestock seem ailing after going in or near water. Pets can dice within hrs to job of swallowing toxins. Animals are frequently the very first affected, in part because castle are more likely to swim in or drink from body of water that contain harmful birds or cyanobacteria.