Severity of algae in Iowa lakes is on the rise

That paint-like scum that covers some Iowa lakes every summer isn’t just gross and smelly. People, pets, and livestock coming into contact with or ingesting toxins produced by the algae are at risk to symptoms including skin rashes, gastrointestinal issues and, in high doses, liver failure. The toxin, called microcystin, is a liver toxin produced by some strains of cyanobacteria, commonly called blue-green algae.