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Cyanobacteria in Poland 2023. MAP – bathing areas and beaches closed [9.07.2023]

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The health department announced on its website on Sunday at noon that the water in six Pomeranian bathing beaches is unsuitable for bathing due to the bloom of blue-green algae. Four closed bathing beaches in the country were also reported.

Cyanobacteria is one of the most common reasons for closing bathing areas in Poland. Their bloom usually occurs during sunny, warm, dry and windless days.

Cyanobacteria in Poland 2023. Map of closed bathing areas

From the data posted on the website on Sunday, July 9, shows that the water in six Pomeranian bathing areas is unsuitable for bathing due to blooms of blue-green algae: ● Babie Doły (Gdynia), ● Śródmieście (Gdynia) ● Redłowo (Gdynia). ● Jantar (Nowodwór County), ● Stegna II (Nowodwór County), ● Kąty Rybackie (Nowodwór County).

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Due to cyanobacteria, some are also closed swimming pools throughout the country. The following are marked with a red flag: ● bathing site at the Królewski Lake in Krzyż Wielkopolski (Wielkopolskie Voivodeship), ● bathing site at the Nowomiejski Reservoir (Mazowieckie Voivodeship), ● bathing site at the Paprocany water reservoir in Tychy (Silesia Voivodeship), ● guarded bathing site at the Rejów Reservoir in Skarżysko Kamienna (Świętokrzyskie Province).

Blooming cyanobacteria is not the only problem that affected Polish bathing areas. Some of them were taken out of use due to bird flu raging in the area, the discovery of dead fish or bacterial contamination.

Cyanobacteria – what are they? Where do they come from in the waters?

Cyanobacteria, also called cyanobacteria, are one of the oldest organisms on Earth and belong to the group of bacteria. They can occur both in salty and inland waters, floating freely in the water column. During windless weather, some blue-green algae may float to the surface of the water and form characteristic clusters there. Visually, they resemble spilled paint, jelly or flakes floating on water.

Their bloom reduces the amount of oxygen and light reaching the deeper layers of water reservoirs, thus causing the death of organisms living there – and hence the ugly appearance and smell of water.

health department recommends being careful and distinguishing cyanobacteria from macroalgae, which may appear in the coastal zone of lakes or the Baltic Sea. Often, the waves throw these green mats on the shores of the beaches, which can look unsightly and give off an unpleasant smell after bacterial decomposition. However, it is important to point out that macroalgae themselves are not harmful and do not produce toxins.

As emphasized by the health department, the seasonality of mass blooms of cyanobacteria is a natural phenomenon occurring in nature. Factors that contribute to the appearance of cyanotic water blooms include: water temperature above 16-20 degrees Celsius (although blue-green algae blooms are known at lower temperatures), the presence of biogenic salts (especially phosphates), weak wind and no precipitation.

Predicting the occurrence of mass blooms of blue-green algae in water is difficult because it depends on many variable weather conditions, such as insolation, wind and rainfall. Due to these variables, it is impossible to precisely determine when cyanobacteria will appear and how long they will persist in a given body of water. Typically, in areas sheltered from the wind, such as bays, where the waves are lower, cyanobacteria can persist longer than in the open

Are cyanobacteria dangerous to health?

Some cyanobacteria that form blooms in fresh, brackish and marine waters can produce toxins. The cause of this phenomenon is not fully understood. People who drank water with bloom or swam in algae coats may develop a skin rash, itchy and watery eyes, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, as well as muscle and joint pain.

These ailments may occur immediately or a few days after swimming in water where there was a toxic bloom of blue-green algae. Human deaths have not been recorded for a long time, however, in several cases, the disease has been very serious. Although cyanobacterial blooms are not always dangerous, care is required to avoid contact with cyanobacteria and discolored water.

Cyanobacteria poisoning can be very dangerous27.07 | – The last such intense blooms were observed in 2006. At that time, over 50 bathing beaches on the Polish coast were closed due to cyanobacteria – says Justyna Kobos from the Institute of Oceanography of the University of Gdańsk. The situation can change the weather, water currents or wind.tvn24

Main photo source: TVN24

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