Council: Iowa sets record for toxic algae advisories in 2016

Pond algae (ThinkStock)

Pond algae (ThinkStock)

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa Environmental Council says Iowa has set a new state record for the number of beach advisories issued because of toxic algae dangers.

The council says 37 beach advisories have been issued this year because of a toxin produced by blue-green algae blooms in water. That surpasses last year’s previous record of 34 warnings.

Locally, excessive algae growth and sediment runoff are causing problems at West Lake park in Davenport, Iowa.

Skin exposed to the toxin can develop rashes and blisters. Someone who drinks water containing the toxin is at risk for headaches, nausea and muscular pain. Animals have died from drinking algae-tainted water.

Since 2006, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources has issued 185 beach warnings for high levels of the toxin.

Blue-green algae blooms are often fed by agriculture fertilizers, livestock waste and other pollutants. It is exacerbated by hot temperatures.

RELATED: Algae and sediment causing murky waters at West Lake Park