Have you ever seen or heard of blood-red water or crimson tide along the coast? What about the algae that blankets lakes and rivers?
When algae, a small living organism, develops rapidly and takes over the aquatic habitat, this is what occurs. Algal bloom is the term for this type of environmental phenomena.
Algae, in general, serve an important function in the aquatic ecosystem by supplying food for aquatic organisms. However, algal blooms or significant algae development can be toxic and even fatal. It depletes the oxygen supply in the aquatic habitat, resulting in fish extinction and animal extinction.
What are the Environmental Effects of Algal Blooms?
Toxic Aquatic Environment - The aquatic living creature and their respiration mechanism require oxygen. For survival, fish and other aquatic life rely on dissolved oxygen in the water. However, an algal colony consumes a lot of oxygen during its development, death, and disintegration cycles. This causes an oxygen shortage, resulting in the destruction of aquatic life. Aquatic life's loss provides food for algae, resulting in rapid proliferation and more damage of the aquatic ecosystem.
Dead Zones - Dead zones are created when there is no or very little oxygen in a water area owing to nutrient contamination. As a result, aquatic life struggles to live in such environments. Plants and animals will perish, and algae blooms will perish after devouring oxygen.
Food Chain - Toxic algal blooms, such as the red tide, discharge poisons into the ocean, causing fish kills and animal deaths. When these dead creatures are eaten by larger species, the poison reaches the top of the food chain. It has an immediate effect on dolphins, turtles, and manatees.
Health Hazard -Algal blooms produce toxins into the water, which can cause irritation, itching, and skin problems if swallowed by people. As a result, algal blooms represent a threat to human health.
Algal Blooms: What causes them?
Algae grows in the presence of contaminants in the water, such as phosphates and nitrates. When algal blooms get out of hand, they can pose a major public health risk. One of the main causes of dangerous algal blooms is nutrient contamination.
Algal Blooms and Household Chemical Cleaners
Algal blooms are caused by nutrient contamination, as previously stated. If you notice this occurrence in lakes, ponds, or rivers near your house, it's likely that the chemical cleaning products we use in our homes are the main contributors to this environmental deterioration.
Are you curious as to why? Continue reading!
You might be wondering how chemical cleaning products used in your house might be harmful to the environment. Chemical cleansers must be performing their job of keeping the insides clean. Many goods, however, include substances such as phosphates and ammonia, which are classified as volatile organic compounds, or VOCs. These pollutants wash down the drain and end up in surrounding bodies of water. These compounds gradually collect in the water, and their concentration rises over time. It causes algae to grow faster, resulting in algal blooms or eutrophication.
It's past time for us to reconsider our lifestyle choices and recognise the influence we have on the environment. By making a simple change in the cleaning items we use, we may help avoid algal blooms. At home, using sustainable and natural cleaning products may help you decrease your environmental impact and transition to a more sustainable lifestyle.
Innovative solutions to the problem of algal blooms currently present in water bodies are urgently needed. Mechanical and chemical therapies are available, however they are neither long-term nor cost-effective. Biological therapy has evolved as an environmentally benign way of algal bloom reduction.