Health Implications of HABs for People and Pets

According to the Ohio Department of Health, Harmful Algal Blooms can produce toxic chemicals in the form of neurotoxins (affecting the nervous system), hepatotoxins (affecting the liver), and dermatotoxins (affecting the skin).

Common points of contact include swallowing contaminated water; skin contact through activities like swimming, water skiing and tubing; and inhaling contaminated mist while jet-skiing, or power-boating. Exposure to these toxic chemicals can cause a variety of reactions, including severe diarrhea and vomiting, difficulty breathing, rashes, skin blisters, a sore throat, as well as runny eyes and nose.

Dogs may have more severe symptoms than people, including collapse and sudden death, after drinking contaminated water or licking it from their fur.

Individuals should seek medical attention if they believe they have been exposed to algal toxins and are having adverse health effects.


For more information, click on the links to the CDC and EPA below: