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Why swimming in lakes will soon be banned

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola Fact Checked

Story at-a-glance -

  • It could soon be declared unsafe to swim in lakes, due to the presence of microcystins and other toxins that can be found in algae blooms
  • The Environmental Working Group (EWG) created an interactive map showing the location of algae blooms reported from 2010 to the present, and they’ve increased alarmingly
  • While there were about 60 news reports of algae blooms in 2010, this jumped to about 440 in 2018
  • Surface water, which includes water in rivers, lakes, streams and reservoirs, is a major source of drinking water in the U.S. — one that can become contaminated by toxic algae
  • You can be exposed to toxic blue-green algae by swimming or wading in contaminated water, eating contaminated seafood, drinking contaminated water or even by breathing in contaminated mist from the water

It could soon be declared unsafe to swim in lakes, due to the presence of microcystins and other toxins that can be found in algae blooms. Microsystins are nerve toxins produced by freshwater cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) that can cause fever, headaches, vomiting and seizures.

Cyanobacteria and their toxins (which include microsystins and others) can also damage the liver and cause kidney, cardiac, reproductive and gastrointestinal effects.


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