Friday, December 24, 2010

Toxic Algal Bloom at Noordhoek

The City of Cape Town informed members of the public to avoid all contact with the water at the Wildevoelvlei and outlet channel leading to the sea. Wildevoelvlei had a well-established algae population dominated by species of blue-green algae named Cyanophyceae.

During the warm summer months, the algal population could increase dramatically, and this accounted for the current green pea-soup colour of the water.

Shellfish such as mussels harvested from the coast below the vlei were likely to be unfit for human consumption as a result of the toxins. Exposure to the algae could cause eye irritation, skin rashes, mouth ulcers, vomiting, diarrhoea, and cold or flu-like symptoms. Drinking or swallowing large amounts of contaminated water could be extremely dangerous.

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