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Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Health warning about toxic bacteria in Pasquiset Pond

Beware of the water!
By Will Collette

Charlestown has been notified of a potential health hazard by the RI Department of Health.

Here is the letter sent to the town by the state Health Department:

A Health Advisory has been issued for Pasquiset Pond in Charlestown based on evidence of a bloom of cyanobacteria, also called blue-green algae. 

This algae may produce a dangerous toxin that can be harmful to people and animals if touched or ingested. 

For more information about the appearance and dangers of cyanobacteria, see the included posters (click here).

This Health Advisory will remain in place for the rest of the season. The Health Advisory can only be lifted if sampling conducted by your city or town or by a third party demonstrates that the algae bloom threat has abated. While this Health Advisory is in place, you can take some important steps to keep the people and pets in your community safe.

· Post the included posters around Pasquiset Pond. These posters explain the algae bloom threat and provide health and safety guidance to the public.

· Use your public communications channels to make sure that people who usually fish, swim, or let their pets swim in this body of water are aware of the dangers of cyanobacteria.

· Alert people with property around this body of water of the dangers of cyanobacteria.

· Alert any animal control officers in your city or town to the cyanobacteria in Sisson Pond.

This Health Advisory was issued following criteria established by the Rhode Island Department of Health (HEALTH) and the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM).

If you have questions or concerns about the health effects of cyanobacteria or about this Health Advisory, see or call the HEALTH Information Line: 401-222-5960.