The Norman Transcript

Features

May 10, 2013

The dangers of blue-green algae

NORMAN — Despite recent cold temperatures in Cleveland County, summer is just around the corner. It is not too early to begin thinking about a trip to the lake or your favorite farm pond for boating, fishing or swimming. But what if that trip could make you sick?

For the past two years, Oklahomans have seen lakes and ponds impacted by blue-green algae (BGA) blooms that can cause illness.

BGA are present in all Oklahoma lakes and most ponds but usually remain at low levels. Problems can occur when they form visible “blooms.” Blooms tend to occur during warm periods, especially during droughts. Increased nutrient runoff near livestock concentration or other nutrient-rich areas and stagnant water increases the chance of a bloom.

BGA blooms turn water green or greenish brown. They can form floating mats and scums on the surface. BGA can produce chemicals that are toxic to humans and other animals. This is usually a concern only during blooms. Livestock and pet deaths due to BGA blooms have been reported in Oklahoma. Sen. Jim Inhofe reported becoming “deathly sick” following a swim in Grand Lake in 2011.

The toxins produced by BGA can affect you or your animals if you or they swim in, drink or even breathe in mist of contaminated water. The OK Department of Health lists the following symptoms:

· Skin exposure: rash, hives or skin blisters

· Ingestion: severe stomach cramps, nausea, diarrhea or vomiting

· Inhalation: runny eyes, runny nose, sore throat or asthma-like symptoms

Although there are no antidotes, if you experience any of these symptoms, you should seek medical help.

For information about managing aquatic vegetation in farm ponds, visit osufacts.okstate.edu and search SRAC-360 Aquatic Weed Management.

For more information on the effects of BGA, visit ok.gov/health/Disease,_

Prevention,_Preparedness/Acute_Disease_

Service/Disease_

Information/Blue-Green_Algae.html.

Heath Herje is an agriculture educator with Cleveland County Cooperative Extension service.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Features
  • Parents urged to research ADHD

    Q: Our son has just been diagnosed with ADHD, and we have been told he may need social skills training. He is in third grade, and this is all very new and foreign. Do you know anything about this training, and what does this mean for his ...

    April 18, 2014

  • Eggspectations

    You may or may not be aware that for many people Easter Sunday is a greater and more important event than Christmas Day. On Easter Sunday the purpose which began with His birth, celebrated on Christmas Day, was fulfilled. Nevertheless, in ...

    April 18, 2014

  • Biting protocol for puppies

    Dear Dr. Fox: My puppy really likes to chew on my hand when I pet him. I am afraid he might get more aggressive when he gets older. His sharp teeth hurt, and sometimes he runs at me and jumps up to paw me. I push him away, but he comes ...

    April 17, 2014

  • Norman volunteer recognized for work at Veterans Corner

    Each week, we recognize a volunteer who makes that extra effort to assure that a veteran or surviving spouse receives VA benefits. Shirley Clark-Cowdin has been with us four years. During that time, she and her crew of ladies have helped ...

    April 16, 2014

  • Here is how reverse mortgages operate nowadays

    Dear Savvy Senior, What can you tell me about reverse mortgages? I was considering one last year, but now I hear they are more difficult to get....

    April 15, 2014

  • Annual Norman Iris Show set at library

    A tradition of the Norman Area Iris Society and Norman Public Library returns this spring with the annual Norman Iris Show from 1 to 4 p.m. April 27 in the Lowry Room of the library, 225 N. Webster Ave....

    April 15, 2014

  • Allan Oehlschlager, family celebrating 100-year milestone

    From Kansas City to Norman with stops in Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Yale, Oklahoma City and Edmond — looking back as he prepared to mark his 100th birthday today, Allan Oehlschlager termed it a “glorious ride.” Born April 13, 1914, in ...

    April 13, 2014

  • Single parents to be honored

    Five Oklahoma single parents and two adult children of single parents will be honored with awards at the Single Parent Support Network black tie fundraiser, “An Enchanted Evening,” on April 29 at the Jim Thorpe Museum and Oklahoma Sports ...

    April 13, 2014

  • Dreams for the next 14 years

    On Monday I’ll be the proud aunt of a 14-year-old niece. For 14 years, I’ve had the chance to get used to her being 14 someday, and I’m still not there. Maybe in another 14 years, I’ll realize that she’s not a baby anymore....

    April 13, 2014

  • Midwest City reunions set

    Midwest City High School class reunions for 1970 to 1979 will be hosted in June at the Midwest City Community Center....

    April 13, 2014