Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 


ORC warns of possible emergence of toxic algal bloom

MEDIA RELEASE


December 3, 2012

ORC warns of possible emergence of toxic algal bloom

The Otago Regional Council (ORC) is warning people to be wary of the possible presence of toxic algae in rivers and lakes throughout the Otago region this summer.

ORC director of environmental information and science John Threlfall said toxic algae occurs naturally in a wide range of water quality conditions, including relatively clean waters. It is more likely to be present during the summer months than at any other time of the year.

In rivers, Phormidium is a common toxic algae which typically forms a thick brown-black slimy algae mat found on large rocks, stones, and cobbles, Dr Threlfall said

If the mats detach, they may float downstream to become caught up in other debris such as sticks. When the Phormidium mats die and dry out, they become light brown or white. Either fresh or dried, it can be highly toxic and harmful to humans and animals.
This is especially true for dogs, as they are particularly susceptible to poisoning from both mat-forming and free-floating toxic algae.

“Many dogs enjoy being in the water and can eat these algae intentionally or by accident, which can have tragic results,” Dr Threlfall said.

Symptoms of poisoning in animals exposed to the type of toxins present in Phormidium mats include lethargy, muscle tremors, fast breathing, twitching, paralysis, and convulsions. In extreme cases, death can occur within 30 minutes after signs first appear.

Toxic algal blooms are commonly blue-green in lakes or still water, but can also be red or yellow.

They typically form thick scums on the surface, and may also develop foams at the water's edge. In Otago toxic algal blooms in lakes do not occur regularly.

If an algal bloom is present, people have been known to develop allergic reactions such as asthma, eye irritations, rashes, blistering around the mouth and nose, and gastro-intestinal disorders, including abdominal pain, cramps, and diarrhoea.


Dr Threlfall said any reaction depends on the type of toxic algae, the type of toxins present, and the concentration of the toxin in the water.

“The higher the concentration of algae toxins and the longer the contact with the water, the more severe the symptoms are likely to be,” he said.


Where humans become ill or are suspected of being ill after swallowing water containing algal bloom, medical advice should be sought immediately. Likewise, if animals become sick, a veterinarian should be contacted.


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

New Research: Most Homeless People Working Or Studying

“The cost of housing has been rising without corresponding increases in income, whilst the number of state houses per capita has been in decline. Many low-income people are missing out on housing, whether we recognise them as ‘homeless’ or not. More>>

ALSO:

Post-Traynor: New Offender Info Sharing Plan

“This Bill delivers on that step-change by moving away from name-based records held by individual agencies to a shared, anchor identity based on unalterable information, such as fingerprints and facial recognition. It also gives agencies access to the drivers’ licence photo database and birth, death and marriages information." More>>

  • NZ Law Foundation - New $2M fund for research on information challenges
  • Littoral: New Ship To Deliver Enhanced Naval Capability

    Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee says the Government has approved a Ministry of Defence and New Zealand Defence Force recommendation to request tenders for a new naval ship to support littoral operations. More>>

    July:

    After King's Labour Snub: Māori Party And Kiingitanga To Work Together

    Māori Party Co-leaders Te Ururoa Flavell and Marama Fox met with Kiingitanga representatives in Wellington yesterday to discuss working together on key issues for the betterment of Māori. More>>

    ALSO:

    Waitangi Claim On Rehabilitation: The 'Justus' System For Māori Not Good Enough

    Closing statements at the Waitangi Tribunal case against Corrections called for immediate steps and a comprehensive review to address the high rate of Māori reoffending. More>>

    ALSO:

    Advice: PM Sets Rules For Ministers' Treatment Of Public Servants

    Prime Minister John Key has laid down the law about the way ministers and public servants should interact, saying ministers may not always like the advice they receive, but they must listen to it carefully, respectfully and professionally. More>>

    Gordon Campbell: On The Funding Changes In Special Needs Education, And Uber

    The plan to strip out the educational support for older “special needs” children in order to meet the existing shortfall in funding for special needs in early childhood education is so miserly and relentlessly stupid as to defy belief… More>>

    SPECIAL EDUCATION (& More):

    Online Learning Plans:

    Post Cab Presser: Inquiries And Consciences

    This afternoon the Prime Minister John Key announced that his cabinet had drafted terms of reference for the Havelock North water contamination inquiry... In response to questions on the Shop Trading Hours Amendment Bill, the Prime Minister said he didn't think allowing National MPs a conscience vote was warranted. More>>

    ALSO:

    Get More From Scoop

     

    LATEST HEADLINES

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    Regional
    Search Scoop  
     
     
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news