Toledo Now Deems Water Too Dangerous for Showers

As Chicago re-tests its own supply

By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff

Posted Aug 3, 2014 8:12 AM CDT

(Newser) – Toledo's water, which was yesterday deemed unsafe for drinking or washing dishes, just got a scary downgrade: Health officials last night reversed their initial position that city water was safe enough for showering, and are now advising those with sensitive skin or liver disease to avoid bathing in it, reports CBS. Children should also avoid bathing in the water, which is believed to be contaminated by a "harmful algal bloom" in Lake Erie. "What's more important than water? Water's about life," said Ohio Gov. John Kasich. "We know it's difficult. We know it's frustrating."

And there's no end in sight to that frustration: With some 400,000 affected residents having emptied store shelves of bottled water and state workers rushing to bring in more, Kasich refused to speculate on how long the water advisory will last. "When it comes to this water, we've got be very careful," he said. The news has other cities nervous, and the Chicago Tribune reports that the Windy City is testing its own water as an "extra precaution," though that supply is derived from Lake Michigan. Results are expected in one or two days. Click for more on Toledo's advisory.

Aundrea Simmons stands next to her minivan with cases of bottled water she bought after Toledo warned residents not to use its water, Saturday, Aug. 2, 2014.
Aundrea Simmons stands next to her minivan with cases of bottled water she bought after Toledo warned residents not to use its water, Saturday, Aug. 2, 2014.   (AP Photo John Seewer)
Sharon Green loads bottled water into her car she bought after Toledo warned residents not to use its water, Saturday, Aug. 2, 2014.
Sharon Green loads bottled water into her car she bought after Toledo warned residents not to use its water, Saturday, Aug. 2, 2014.   (AP Photo John Seewer)
Residents in Toledo line up for water on Saturday, Aug. 2, 2014.
Residents in Toledo line up for water on Saturday, Aug. 2, 2014.   (AP Photo/The Blade, Jetta Fraser)
Firefighter Bryan West works with Clara Cousino, 4, and Clay Cousino, 2, to fill buckets with water at the fire station in Oregon, Ohio, Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2014.
Firefighter Bryan West works with Clara Cousino, 4, and Clay Cousino, 2, to fill buckets with water at the fire station in Oregon, Ohio, Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2014.   (AP Photo/The Blade, Isaac Hale)
Isaac Miles, of Toledo, Ohio, sells water on Saturday, Aug. 2, 2014.
Isaac Miles, of Toledo, Ohio, sells water on Saturday, Aug. 2, 2014.   (AP Photo/The Blade, Andy Morrison)
This July 10, 2014 photo shows a water sample from Lake Erie. Gov. John Kasich declared a state of emergency in northwest Ohio, where 400,000 were warned not to drink water on Saturday, Aug. 2, 2014.
This July 10, 2014 photo shows a water sample from Lake Erie. Gov. John Kasich declared a state of emergency in northwest Ohio, where 400,000 were warned not to drink water on Saturday, Aug. 2, 2014.   (AP Photo/The Blade, Tom Henry)
This satellite image shows the algae bloom on Lake Erie in 2011. Toledo told residents yesterday not to drink its water, fouled by toxins possibly from algae on Lake Erie.
This satellite image shows the algae bloom on Lake Erie in 2011. Toledo told residents yesterday not to drink its water, fouled by toxins possibly from algae on Lake Erie.   (AP Photo/NOAA)
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