As a result of their research, researchers have raised concerns about the Mediterranean Sea ecosystem’s health after discovering a sunscreen lotion component in seagrass.
On the Mediterranean island of Mallorca, researchers collected Posidonia oceanica stem samples from three separate locations—the port of Palma, near the port of Alcudia, and at a “pristine” spot that had less tourists.
Oxybenzone, Avobenzone, 4-Methylbenzylidene Camphor, Benzophenone-4, and Methyl Parabens were discovered in variable amounts and mixes in all samples.
Tourists and port activities have been blamed for the release of chemicals into the water, according to a new research.
Even though the complete impact of these chemicals on seagrass has yet to be determined, experts are concerned about the possible negative impacts on the marine ecology.
“If we find that sunscreens affect the photosynthesis and productivity of seagrasses beyond accumulation, we will have a problem since these seagrasses play important ecological roles in the Mediterranean coasts,” co-author Prof Nona Agawin was quoted as saying.
As a result, experts have advocated for more investigation into the damaging effects of pesticides on seagrass meadows.
“If we find which sunscreen components are harmful for seagrasses, then we should better regulate and provide alternatives to protect the beach-goers and also the seagrasses,” said Agawin.