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Shrewsbury Public Health Advisory: Harmful Algae Levels in Dean Park Pond

dean-park-photoSHREWSBURY, Massachusetts – The Shrewsbury Board of Health has issued a public health advisory due to the observation of high levels of cyanobacteria algae (blue-green) in Dean Park Pond. Individuals are being encouraged to avoid coming in contact with the body of water until further notice. The Town will be working with environmental health specialists to better determine the extent and severity of the harmful algae.

Health concerns from harmful algae blooms and their toxins vary depending on the type of exposure, and the amounts of toxin present. The following recommendations are being offered to avoid algae exposure until further notice:

  •   Do not swim or wade in the pond
  •   Do not allow pets in water
  •   Do not swallow water
  •   Rinse skin off immediately after contact
  •   Fishing is discouraged

“The Board of Health is advising the public to be aware of harmful algae blooms at Dean Park Pond so that the necessary precautions can be considered in order to protect themselves, family members and pets from exposure of these unhealthy waters” said Derek S. Brindisi, Director of Public Health.

Health Risks:

  •   Contact with these algae can cause skin and eye irritation.
  •   Ingesting small amounts can cause gastrointestinal symptoms. Ingesting large amounts of

    toxins may cause liver or neurological damage.

  •   Inhaling water spray with algae in it can cause asthma-like symptoms.
  •   Small children and pets are more susceptible to the effects of toxins than adults.
  •   Livestock and pet deaths from ingesting algal toxins have occurred.
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