skip to main content

Thursday, June 1, 2023

play newscast audioPlay

Alabamans urge a grocery tax reduction, a tape shows Trump knew about a classified document on Iran, Pennsylvania puts federal road funds to work and Minnesota's marijuana law will wipe away minor offenses.

play newscast audioPlay

Democrats say a wealth tax would help alleviate some national debt, lawmakers aim to continue pandemic-era funding for America's child care sector, and teachers say firearms at school will make students less safe.

play newscast audioPlay

Oregon may expand food stamp eligibility to some undocumented households, rural areas have a new method of accessing money for roads and bridges, and Tennessee's new online tool helps keep track of cemetery locations.

Going Swimming? Be Mindful of Not-So-Clean Water

play audio
Play

Friday, May 27, 2022   

Memorial Day weekend marks the beginning of water recreation season, and before putting on a swimsuit, Iowa environmental experts say being mindful of water quality can help avoid serious illness.

The Iowa Environmental Council hosted a forum this week to highlight key information before people flock to lakes and beaches.

Alicia Vasto, water program associate director for the Council, said E. coli outbreaks at state park beaches have been pretty consistent, and there has been a gradual increase in swim advisories prompted by harmful algae blooms.

They contain a toxin Vasto describes as "nasty" after coming in contact with it.

"Even, you know, your skin contact, it can cause rashes and hives," Vasto outlined. "If you inhale it -- like in water droplets, if you're boating or water skiing or something like that -- it can give you respiratory issues. If you swallow it, it can cause stomach pain and vomiting, and diarrhea."

Algae blooms, which form in warm, stagnant waters, can resemble spilled green paint or pea soup, and emit a foul odor. The council advised swimmers to stay out of the water if warning signs are posted. Swimmers also are encouraged to shower after contact with surface water, even if there is not a warning. More than 20 such advisories were posted at Iowa's state park beaches last year.

Toxic algae blooms have also been linked to fatal liver disease.

Peter Thorne, professor of occupational and environmental health at the University of Iowa, said there are similar health concerns for pets.

"Take dogs, for example. They'll go in the water, even if it is scummy, and play in it, and they'll ingest it," Thorne observed. "And the ingestion is the real problem."

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in 2019, more than 200 animal deaths were reported around the country. The panel noted hot and dry summers, like the one Iowa saw last year, can fuel the growth of harmful algae. Farm runoff is considered a key source of surface water toxins.


get more stories like this via email
A new park, San Vicente Redwoods, opened up late last year near Santa Cruz, Calif., in an area previously ravaged by fire and logging. (Nadia Hamey)

Environment

play sound

This Saturday, June 3, thousands of Californians will be among hundreds of thousands of Americans heading into the great outdoors to celebrate …


Social Issues

play sound

A coalition of Wisconsin groups is asking Gov. Tony Evers to reject bills it contends would make it harder for people struggling to get by to bounce …

Social Issues

play sound

Two months from today, Minnesota will begin the process of removing low-level marijuana convictions for those who have them on their criminal records…


Alabama is one of only three states still applying its full state sales tax on the purchase of groceries and food items. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

Groups working to fight poverty in Alabama are urging state senators to approve a bill aimed at lowering food costs for families. House Bill 479 …

Social Issues

play sound

Navigating college can seem overwhelming for first generation students, but an early outreach program at Arizona State University aims to change it…

Nebraska was one of 10 states to further restrict abortion access in the 2023 legislative session. At least 48 bills were passed involving restrictions for LGBTQ+ individuals. (Yurii Kibalnik/Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

play sound

A new Nebraska law is now the subject of a lawsuit filed in the District Court of Lancaster County. In its amended form, Legislative Bill 574 …

Social Issues

play sound

A proposal from the federal government could provide a better path toward student loan debt repayment, but a new survey finds many borrowers don't …

Environment

play sound

Maine lawmakers are considering two pieces of legislation which supporters said are needed to ensure "responsible" development of offshore wind projec…

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021