According to the data of the Chief Sanitary Inspectorate provided on Sunday, August 20, blue-green algae have reappeared at seaside bathing beaches – so far the problem concerns several places in Gdynia and Gdańsk. Bathing is prohibited there. A red flag also appeared on the beach in Łeba, but due to E. coli bacteria in the water.
health department on its website informs daily about the bathing waters in which the water is not suitable for bathing due to cyanobacteria bloom. Almost every year, especially during the holiday season, bathing areas on the Baltic coast fall victim to blue-green algae. Factors that affect their bloom 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.
Data on the state of water and the safety of bathing are systematically provided on its website by the Chief Sanitary Inspectorate, which has developed a special map with a list of bathing areas, addresses and markers that help to get acquainted with dangerous places.
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From the data posted on the website of the Chief Sanitary Inspectorate on Sunday, August 20, results, that blue-green algae appeared on bathing areas (data from 1:00 p.m.):
- Gdynia Redlowo,
- Gdynia Orlowo,
- Gdansk Jelitkowo,
- Pier Gdansk Brzezno,
- Hallera Gdansk Brzezno.
At one of the bathing beaches in Łeba (Kąpielisko przy beach A) bathing is prohibited due to E. coli bacteria.
Map of seaside resorts. Where can you bathe?
On the map below, seaside bathing areas where you can safely swim are marked in green. In red – closed bathing areas (among them there are also bathing areas with a ban on bathing due to the presence of E. coli bacteria).
It is also available interactive map of bathing areasprepared by the Chief Sanitary Inspectorate.
What are cyanobacteria and what can they cause?
Blue-green algae (cyanobacteria) are among the oldest organisms on Earth. They occur in both salty and inland waters, floating freely in the water depths. During windless weather, some blue-green algae may rise to the surface of the water and form scum there. They then look like spilled paint, jelly or flakes floating on the surface of the water.
In the case of blue-green algae blooms resting by the water, an absolute ban on entering it is recommended. Bathing in cyanobacteria-contaminated water can cause adverse reactions of the body: from skin rashes to redness of the conjunctiva. Gastrointestinal complaints including diarrhoea, vomiting and abdominal pain may occur if such water is swallowed.
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Sanepid recommends being careful and distinguishing cyanobacteria from macroalgae, which may also appear in the coastal zone of 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. Unlike cyanobacteria, however, they are not harmful and do not produce toxins.
Main photo source: TVN24