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Toxic algea blooms in Lake Erie

PHOTO: Lake Erie algal bloom from space

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    Cheryl Santa Maria
    Digital Reporter

    Wednesday, August 6, 2014, 5:58 PM -

    Last Friday a toxic algal bloom caused panic in Toledo, Ohio when it contaminated the water supply, prompting officials to warn approximately 500,000 residents not to not drink, cook or bathe in it.

    The blooms are the result of fertilizer runoff and warm weather which has spurred the growth of tiny green plants in Lake Erie.

    RELATED: Algae prompts health warning in Alberta

    Blue-green algae produces a toxin that cane lead to nausea and vomiting when ingested by humans and animals.

    Toledo's water ban has since been lifted but officials are keeping a close eye on the situation in case the blooms begin to spread again.

    Photo taken by Landsat 8 satellite on August 1, 2014. Courtesy: NASA

    An image captured by NASA's Landsat 8 satellite on August 1, 2014 depicts the widespread area covered by the blooms.

    Algal blooms have been a persistent problem in Canada as well.

    In July, Alberta Health Services issued an advisory after blue-green algae was found on Pigeon and Coal Lakes for the fourth year in a row.

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    'Environmental disaster' prompts water ban for B.C.'s Cariboo and Quesnel regions
    Toxins in water force state of emergency in Ohio for 400,000 residents, store shelves emptied
    Increased algae likely for Lake Erie again this summer
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