Which among the following can be used as good indicators of heavy metals pollution in marine water?

Answer: [A] Sea Weeds

SEAWEEDS (algae) are good indicators of heavy metal levels in marine environments and could be used for monitoring such pollutants in seas. According to a new study in the Gulf of Kutch, which receives discharges containing heavy metals from several industries, various species of brown, red and green algae accumulate heavy metals from seawater and sediments. Heavy metals enter various organisms and trigger tissue damage.

They generate reactive oxygen species, such as hydrogen peroxide, which break down proteins and lipids, degrade DNA, and cause cell deaths. The study was conducted at Vadinar and Sikka in the Gulf of Kutch. In recent years, such coastal regions have seen rapid industrialisation. The researchers measured the levels of heavy metals in various species of red, brown and green algae, in seawater and sediments and found that iron, manganese and zinc concentrations were generally high in all the algae species. Large amounts of cadmium and zinc were also found. (Down To Earth, Feb 1-14, 2014)

This question is a part of GKToday's Integrated IAS General Studies Module