IowaWatch Connection: Water Toxins

This year marked a record number of state beach closings due to microcystin, a liver toxin produced by cyanobacteria, more commonly called blue-green algae. What are the risks for people, pets and livestock that come into contact with the toxin? And why are we seeing more of it at Iowa beaches?

News Quiz: Algae in Iowa Lakes

This year, Iowa’s state-owned beaches set records for the number of health advisories issued for high microcystin levels. Microcystin is a liver toxin that can form from cyanobacteria, commonly called blue-green algae. Test your knowledge of algae and microcystin in Iowa lakes.

Severity Of Algae In Iowa Lakes Is On The Rise

That paint-like scum that covers some Iowa lakes every summer isn’t just gross and smelly. People, pets, and livestock coming into contact with or ingesting toxins produced by the algae are at risk to symptoms including skin rashes, gastrointestinal issues and, in high doses, liver failure.