Environmental officials are urging residents to be cautious of blue-green algae growth along Illinois waterways.
Blue-green algae growth, known as cyanobacteria, is made up of microscopic organisms that naturally occur in streams and lakes. Most of the growth is harmless, but some can produce toxic chemicals that cause sickness in people and pets.
The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Public Health are reminding people to avoid contact with water that looks like spilled green or blue-green paint, has green-color streaks or greenish globs suspended in the water below the surface. They also recommend not allowing pets to drink the water.
If there’s contact, public health officials recommend rinsing off with fresh clean water as soon as possible.