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  • Most algae are harmless and an important part of the natural ecosystem.
  • Some types of algae are harmful to people and animals, and some can produce toxins which can cause serious illness.
  • Where these harmful algae grow rapidly and accumulate in a water environment, it is known as a harmful algal bloom. It is difficult to tell the difference between a harmful algal bloom and a non-harmful algal bloom.
  • Direct contact with algae can cause irritation to the skin, eyes, ears, nose and mouth. To be safe, people and pets should avoid water affected by algae.
  • Do not use untreated algae-affected water for drinking, showering or washing. Boiling algae-affected water does not remove toxins.
  • Algal toxins can gather in shellfish, crustaceans and the internal organs of fish. Where there is a harmful algal bloom, do not consume recreationally caught shellfish or crustaceans, and gut and gill fish prior to cooking or freezing.

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Reviewed on: 23-05-2022