High algae levels have prompted state health workers to issue an advisory about a local lake.
The Oregon Health Authority issued the advisory Tuesday for Blue Lake at Blue Lake Regional Park near Troutdale.
Water monitoring has confirmed the presence of blue-green algae that can produce toxins.
The water can be harmful to humans and animals if it's swallowed or inhaled. Health workers said it's best to avoid contact with the water on your skin, as well.
The toxins cannot be removed by boiling, filtering or treating the water with camping-style filters.
Exposure to toxins can produce symptoms of numbness, tingling, and dizziness that can lead to difficulty breathing or heart problems and require immediate medical attention.
Symptoms of skin irritation, weakness, diarrhea, nausea, cramps and fainting should also receive medical attention if they persist or worsen.
Children and pets are particularly susceptible.
People who may draw in-home water directly from Blue Lake are advised to use an alternative water source.
Public drinking water systems can reduce algae toxins through proper filtration and disinfection. If you are on public water systems and have questions about treatment and testing, contact your water supplier.
Oregon health officials recommend that people who choose to eat fish from waters where algae blooms are present should remove all fat, skin and organs before cooking since toxins are more likely to collect in these tissues.
Additionally, public health officials advise that people should not eat freshwater clams or mussels from Blue Lake. Crayfish muscle can be eaten, but internal organs and liquid fat should be discarded.
Boating is safe as long as speeds do not create excessive water spray, which could lead to inhalation risk.
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