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Potentially toxic algae found in Humber Bay East

Last Updated Jul 17, 2018 at 5:22 pm EDT

Blue-green algae is seen on the surface of the water at Humber Bay Park. CITYNEWS/Craig Wadman

Toronto Public Health (TPH) has issued a warning about the presence of a potentially toxic algae along the waterfront in Etobicoke.

In a press release on Tuesday, TPH said the Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks has confirmed the presence of blue-green algae blooms at the mouth of Mimico Creek and Humber Bay Park East.

Blue-green algae called Cyanobacteria range in colour from olive-green to red and naturally occur in ponds, rivers or streams.

TPH says it’s easy to spot – blooms often form a large mass or scum on the surface of the water. It should be avoided because it can make you sick — some species of the algae can potentially produce toxins which are harmful to humans and animals.

Drinking or coming into contact with water that has sufficient amounts of the algae in it can cause headaches, fever, diarrhea, abdominal pain, nausea or vomiting, skin rashes and mucous membrane irritation.

TPH says residents should be careful and take precautions for themselves and their pets when they visit this part of Etobicoke’s waterfront. They add that it’s best to stay out of the water at the mouth of Mimico Creek.

Humber Bay Park is not a designated public beach and beaches in the area are not regularly monitored for water quality or supervised by lifeguards.

The following are the beaches that are monitored daily for E. coli levels between June to September and where you can safely take a dip:

  • Marie Curtis Park East Beach
  • Sunnyside Beach
  • Hanlan’s Point Beach
  • Gibraltar Point Beach
  • Centre Island Beach
  • Ward’s Island Beach
  • Cherry Beach
  • Woodbine Beaches
  • Kew Balmy Beach
  • Bluffer’s Beach Park
  • Rouge Beach

If you are exposed to blue-green algae, wash yourself with clean water as soon as possible. If you feel any symptoms, contact a health care provider.