Effects of sunscreen chemicals in humans
Research has shown that the damage Oxybenzone causes is even more far-reaching, creating gender shifts in fish that cause female fish to produce fewer eggs. If this chemical can affect reproduction in marine animals, imagine the effects on humans. Recent studies have shown that human females with higher concentrations of the chemical in their bodies had a much harder time falling pregnant, while the high concentration in males caused diseased sperm.
Effects of sunscreen chemicals in algae
Oxybenzone doesn’t only destroy certain coral reefs, it also impairs algae growth and photosynthesis, while harming other marine life in the process.
Algae contribute to a healthier ocean since they use up the carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, then release oxygen back. Algae also maintain a highly symbiotic relationship with various ocean organisms including sea sponges. Since the algae live near the sponges’ surface, they actually metabolize and produce sugar and oxygen that the sponges need for their very survival. The sponges, in turn, help to protect the algae from their natural predators in the ocean.
Krill feed primarily on algae. Krill are shrimp-like organisms that are fodder to many marine animals including whales, seals, and penguins.
The ocean is an ever-changing watery world filled with marine plants of every kind that are subjected to ocean currents and environmental conditions.
At times certain environmental conditions can cause cold, denser water to sink to the bottom of the ocean, thereby causing other waters to rise in replacement. When this happens you get algal blooms. When there are more algae, there are more compounds produced for organisms such as oysters, mussels, and ultimately, humans. But algae blooms can also be harmful to marine life since a proliferation of surface floating algae can diminish the sunlight reaching marine plants causing dead zones.
While algae blooms can be very problematic, certain algae are very necessary for the maintenance of ecosystems.