First assignment of group n° 139
Resources used by the team
First description of our project
First description of our project's idea
Sea Sun and Safe
Please answer to the three expected questions:
1. What Problem do you want to solve ?
The ocean is the largest ecosystem on earth. It has been deteriorated mainly because of human actions. These last decades, Humans have modified the natural ecosystems faster and deeper than in any other period in time, the damage done on human health can already be seen and could worsen in the next 50 years. Ecosystems are crucial in the prevention of diseases and the protection of health. A research conducted by the Environmental Health Perspectives journal in the US indicates that ultraviolet filters in sunscreens lighten the corals. Sunscreens’ components generate a viral infection in the algae that keep the coral healthy, leading to corals death in only a few hours. Moreover, each time tourists apply sunscreen and go for a swim they lose one quarter of it in the water, which accounts fort about 4000 to 6000 tons of sunscreen released each year in reef areas. This is why this matter should not be treated lightly in order to keep the ecosystem, marine life and human health safe. This problem has become global because people are not aware about sunscreen’s impact on marine environment.
2. Why does this problem exist?
This problem is directly linked to the chemical elements used in sunscreens for their UV-filter properties, such as Benzophenone or Octyl methoxycinnamate. These ultraviolet filters cause a viral infection in the algae that keep the coral healthy, which leads to the coral’s whitening, and then to its death. Today, experts estimate that 50% of corals is in poor health! That’s why we need to react now or these 50% will disappear in 20 years. This problem is a recent discovery and is not well known by the population yet. Because of that, the laboratories working for large companies specialized in sunscreens have not focused on finding a solution, for instance, by developing organic sunscreens for the mass market.
3. What breakthrough are you commited to creating?
We are committed to find a way to preserve our skin from sunburns without harming the environment, especially coral reefs and marine life.
In that way, we could prevent the ocean from being damaged from the chemicals ingredients of the sunscreen and avoid an ecological disaster. If we don’t react now, coral reefs will disappear and take with them all the underwater life : hundreds of species of fishes and shellfishes that found refuge in the many holes of the corals. To give an idea, the consequence is almost the same as if the jungle disappear in South Africa ! Furthermore, the seaboard wouldn’t benefit from the protection of reefs anymore and would be exposed to heavy swells which could put the lives of some coastal residents at risk, without forgiving the decline of tourism in regions related with scuba diving.
Coral is one of the bases for the development of marine life, if it happened to disappear, it's the entire marine ecosystem that could collapse !
Potential experts already identified
- Coral guardian, a French association engaged in the preservation of marine ecosystems : https://www.coralguardian.org
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