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Blue-green algae strikes again

Friday, September 24, 2021 by Tai Moses

A toxin named cylindrospermopsin, which may cause liver and kidney damage and is produced by certain types of cyanobacteria or blue-green algae, has been detected in “concerning levels” in Barton Creek at Sculpture Falls, near MoPac and Loop 360. The city is posting signs near the popular swimming hole to warn people against swimming in the area or allowing their pets to come into contact with the water or drink it. According to the city news release, “This incident is different from previous incidents of harmful algae in the Austin area in several ways. It is a different toxin with different health effects. The toxins were found in water samples rather than in the algae, which increases the risk of human exposure from recreational use. In addition, the toxin was found at a popular swimming hole in a creek environment, rather than in a lake or reservoir.”

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