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Latest river samples show no algal toxins

Heavy rainfall may have improved conditions

Follow-up samples collected in the Illinois River last week showed no evidence of the algal toxin previously collected near Hennepin and Marseilles.

These samples include those locations where toxins were previously found.

Those samples detected microcystins above the health advisory established by U.S. EPA. It is likely heavy rains contributed to the improved conditions in the river, according to a press release issued by the Illinois EPA and the Illinois Department of Public Health.

Illinois residents should continue to use caution while on or near Illinois rivers, lakes or streams and be advised to avoid contact with water that looks like spilled, green or blue-green paint; has surface scums, mats or films; is discolored or has green-colored streaks, or has greenish globs suspended in the water below the surface, according to the release.

Do not let pets drink from water with any of the above characteristics.

Algal toxins sometimes produced by blue-green algae can cause sickness or other adverse health effects in people and pets, depending on the amount and type of exposure.

If anyone comes into contact with water suspected to have a bloom of blue- green algae, rinse off with clean, fresh water as soon as possible. With all activities that may involve contact with lake or stream water, wash hands before eating.

If anyone is concerned they have symptoms that are a result of exposure to algal toxins, contact a health care provider or call the Illinois Poison Center at 1-800-222-1222.

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