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The Today File

Your guide to the latest news from around the Northwest

October 4, 2012 at 6:55 PM

Toxic algae bloom in Seattle’s Green Lake growing worse

Toxic levels of blue-green algae in Seattle’s Green Lake are continuing to climb, according to the city’s parks department.

Park visitors are reminded that the lake is closed to wading, swimming and any “wet-water” boating that would put skin in contact with the water.

“Dog owners are especially encouraged not to allow pets in the lake or to drink from the lake. The signs of toxicity in pets could be much more rapid in onset and include staggering, acute respirator distress, convulsions and sudden death,” writes Dewey Potter of the parks department in a news release.

Fishing and boating are still permitted in the lake, and eating fish from the lake is still considered safe — “but should not be on a frequent basis,” Potter’s release says. It is believed the toxin concentrates in fishes’ internal organs, which should be discarded.

A reading taken near the boat-rental dock on Tuesday was 419 micrograms per liter. The state health department’s draft safety guidelines call for no more than 6 micrograms per liter.

Restrictions on use of the lake will remain in place until the algae life cycle is complete, which could be weeks or months, Potter said.

Comments | More in General news, Health | Topics: green lake, toxic algae

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