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Friday, February 23, 2024

The cyanobacteria returned. Already three bathing areas closed

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Due to the bloom of cyanobacteria, the swimming pool in Stepnica (Goleniów poviat) and two in the Bay of Puck were closed. Bathing is prohibited there until further notice, informed the District Sanitary and Epidemiological Station in Goleniów. This is the first time this year when we observe the bloom of these organisms in Polish bathing areas.

Anika Różalska from the County Sanitary and Epidemiological Station in Goleniów said that at the bathing beach in Stepnica “the water is not suitable for bathing due to the bloom of cyanobacteria”. – Until he resigns, unfortunately, bathing is forbidden. The bloom will go away on its own over time, now the temperatures are elevated, so it just started to bloom – she informed.

Dangerous toxins

Sanepid informed after 13 that also two bathing areas in Zatoka Pucka were closed due to the bloom of cyanobacteria: in Kąty Rybackie and Sztutowo.

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Efflorescence cyanobacteria produce dangerous toxins, so avoid bathing in water where they are present.

“We are observing the Baltic Sea with concern.” Cyanobacteria will be delayed, but there may be more this year.

What are cyanobacteria?

Cyanobacteria (cyanobacteria) are bacteria and are among the oldest organisms on earth. They occur in both salt and inland waters, floating freely in the water depth. In windless weather, some cyanobacteria may rise to the surface of the water and form a blanket there. They then look like spilled paint, jelly, or flakes floating on the surface of the water.

The Sanitary Inspectorate emphasizes not to confuse cyanobacteria with macroalgae that may float at the water surface in the coastal zone of lakes or the Baltic Sea. Often the waves throw these green mats ashore, which, although they do not look aesthetically pleasing and may emit an unpleasant odor as a result of decomposition by bacteria, are not harmful themselves and are not a source of toxins.

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As emphasized by the Department of Health, the seasonality of mass cyanobacterial blooms is a natural phenomenon that occurs in nature. Factors that influence the appearance of cyanobacterial water blooms include water temperature above 16-20 degrees Celsius (although cyanobacteria blooms and at lower temperatures are known), the presence of biogenic salts (especially phosphates), light wind and no rainfall.

Cyanobacteria in the waters of the Gulf of GdańskESA / Copernicus

Sanepid recommendations

Predicting the occurrence of water blooms is very difficult because changing weather conditions, such as sunlight, wind or rain, are important here. Therefore, it is impossible to determine in advance when the cyanobacteria will appear and how long they will persist in a given body of water. As a rule, cyanobacteria can persist much longer in places sheltered from the wind, in bays where there is less wave and water mixing than in open space. Along the coast of Gdańsk Bay, the mass bloom of cyanobacteria can be recorded only on some beaches, and this is related to the direction and force of the wind, which can shift the surface bloom even within a few hours.

Sanepid notes that the use of bathing areas during a pandemic COVID-19 and the associated risk of infection relates essentially to spread of infection by airborne droplet and direct contact. Therefore, in the case of coastal bathing areas, the beaches of which are several kilometers long, and access to which is not restricted, it is necessary to maintain a social distance from outsiders, to ensure at least 4 square meters of space for each user (not applicable to people sharing the property). inhabitants).

Sanepid also recommends, among others use of your own hiking equipment and toiletries, such as blankets, rugs, deck chairs, mats, towels, equipment for learning or facilitating swimming.

Cyanobacteria poisoning can be very dangerous27.07 | – We saw the last such intense blooms in 2006. At that time, more than 50 bathing areas on the Polish coast were closed because of cyanobacteria – says Justyna Kobos from the Institute of Oceanography at the University of Gdańsk. Breakdown in weather, water currents, or wind can change the situation.tvn24

Main photo source: ESA / Copernicus



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