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Quebec's blue-green algae problem bad and getting worse: researcher
Published Tuesday, July 30, 2019 9:08PM EDT
Quebec’s blue-green algae problem is as bad as it’s ever been and bound to get worse, according to researchers.
Sarah Dorner, a civil engineer and geology professor at Ecole Polytechnique, said her team analyzing the problem expects to have results in soon.
“We had a very wet spring which brings a lot of nutrients and runoff to the lakes,” she said. “Now it’s heating up and cyanobacteria do very well in warm weather.”
Dorner noted that tracking blue-green algae can be difficult as the Quebec government only monitors bodies of water that are sources of drinking water.
“If we don’t have good data, we don’t have a portrait of how things are trending over time,” she said. “We just don’t have that information. We do know around the world cyanobacteria blooms are getting worse. We’re not solving these problems, they’re accelerating.”
According to the Quebec Health Ministry blue-green algae is a bacteria that occurs naturally in Quebec bodies of water, but an overabundance can cause the water to be harmful to humans’ health. Ingesting contaminated water can cause several different ailments, including stomach ache, diarrhea, vomiting, headaches, fever and throat or skin irritation.
For more information, watch an interview with Sarah Dorner above.