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Blue-green algae has appeared on Loch Ereray (Eirearaigh) by Brue on the west coast of Lewis.

 

As a precautionary measure, notices have been posted next to the loch, warning that contact with the algal scum should be avoided.

 

Some blue-green algae sometimes results in adverse medical effects.

 

Effects on people coming into contact with toxic scums include skin rashes, eye irritations, vomiting and diarrhoea, fever and pains in muscles and joints.

 

Toxic algae have caused deaths of livestock and dogs.

 

The treatment of water supplies removes blue-green algae and additional treatment may be applied to destroy or remove toxins should they arise.

 

The actions currently taken are precautionary.

 

Adjoining landowners and fishing interests have been advised of the situation as have the Environmental Health section of Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, SEPA Stornoway Office and NHS Western Isles.

 

Warning over potentially toxic algae on freshwater loch  

14 July 2017