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Algal blooms often resemble foamy mats, floating on the water. They can look like pea soup or spilled paint, often green, or blue-green in color. Without analyzing the water sample in a lab, it is impossible to know whether or not the bloom is harmful. To ensure the safety for yourself and your pets, it is best to avoid water that appears to have any blooms.
One unfortunate example is when 16-month-old black lab, Alex, was swimming in a reservoir that, unbeknownst to his owner, had an outbreak of harmful algae. Alex later collapsed and was immediately rushed to the vet. Unfortunately, despite treatment, he died five hours later from cyanobacteria neurotoxins, one of the toxins found in algal blooms.
"Dogs can be particularly susceptible to the effects of [harmful algal blooms] because of their behavior, sometimes drinking water from ponds, lakes and streams; cleaning their wet fur; and consuming algal mats or scum with attractive odors," N.Y. Sea Grant Fisheries and Ecosystem Health Specialist, Jesse Lepak told Great Lakes Today.
Toxic algal blooms can be found in more than 20 states. Beaches in South Florida were covered last summer by a toxic algae sludge, prompting Florida Gov. Rick Scott to declare local states of emergency. California and Utah were heavily affected last year as well, and the Great Lakes region is known to have an over abundance of harmful blooms. In 2014, the Western Lake Erie Basin had its most intense bloom of toxic algae ever recorded, which shut down water supplies for nearly half a million people in Toledo, Ohio.
The Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory and the Cooperative Institute for Great Lakes Research are working to identify factors that influence toxic algal blooms, as well as developing methods to forecast outbreaks. So, while there are steps being taken to resolve this issue, it is important that people are aware of the problem.
NOAA suggests to keep your dog on a leash to prevent them from swimming in or drinking potentially dangerous water. However, if your dog does come into contact with potentially toxic water, be sure to keep an eye out for the following symptoms:
- repeated vomiting
- diarrhea or bloody stool
- loss of appetite
- yellowing of eye whites
- dark urine
- stumbling, seizures, convulsions, paralysis
- excessive salivation
- disorientation, inactivity or depression
- difficulty breathing
- skin rashes/hives
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‘Companies Should Not Be Allowed to Use Hazardous Ingredients in Products People Use’: Michelle Pfeiffer Speaks Up for Safer Cosmetics
The beauty products we put on our skin can have important consequences for our health. Just this March, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned that some Claire's cosmetics had tested positive for asbestos. But the FDA could only issue a warning, not a recall, because current law does not empower the agency to do so.
Michelle Pfeiffer wants to change that.
The actress and Environmental Working Group (EWG) board member was spotted on Capitol Hill Thursday lobbying lawmakers on behalf of a bill that would increase oversight of the cosmetics industry, The Washington Post reported.
By Julia Conley
Scientists at the United Nations' intergovernmental body focusing on biodiversity sounded alarms earlier this month with its report on the looming potential extinction of one million species — but few heard their calls, according to a German newspaper report.
The climate crisis is a major concern for American voters with nearly 40 percent reporting the issue will help determine how they cast their ballots in the upcoming 2020 presidential election, according to a report compiled by the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication.
Of more than 1,000 registered voters surveyed on global warming, climate and energy policies, as well as personal and collective action, 38 percent said that a candidate's position on climate change is "very important" when it comes to determining who will win their vote. Overall, democratic candidates are under more pressure to provide green solutions as part of their campaign promises with 64 percent of Democrat voters saying they prioritize the issue compared with just 34 percent of Independents and 12 percent of Republicans.
President Donald Trump has agreed to sign a $19.1 billion disaster relief bill that will help Americans still recovering from the flooding, hurricanes and wildfires that have devastated parts of the country in the past two years. Senate Republicans said they struck a deal with the president to approve the measure, despite the fact that it did not include the funding he wanted for the U.S.-Mexican border, CNN reported.
"The U.S. Senate has just approved a 19 Billion Dollar Disaster Relief Bill, with my total approval. Great!" the president tweeted Thursday.
"There was a lot of devastation throughout the state," Governor Mike Parson said at a Thursday morning press conference, as NPR reported. "We were very fortunate last night that we didn't have more injuries than what we had, and we didn't have more fatalities across the state. But three is too many."