Saving the Ozone to Save Lives

The ozone is a gas located in Earth’s ground level, troposphere,and upper atmosphere, stratosphere.

Stratospheric Ozone is known as the "good" ozone layer that extends upward from 6 to 30 miles and protects life on Earth from the sun's harmful ultraviolet rays that lead to health problems. This natural shield has been gradually depleted by man-made chemicals called "ozone-depleting substances" (ODS).

One type of ODS is chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs). They account for over 80% of stratospheric ozone depletion. The CFCs are so stable that only exposure to strong UV radiation breaks them down. When that happens, the CFC molecule releases atomic chlorine that can destroy over 100,000 ozone molecules. The net effect is to destroy ozone faster than it is naturally created.

This ozone depletion significantly increases detrimental health risks for humans and animals alike. For humans, UV rays that pass through the depleted ozone layer increase the number of skin cancer, blindness, and cataracts (clouding of the lens) diagnoses, and sunburns. A sustained 10% thinning of the ozone layer is expected to result in almost two million new cases of cataracts per year, globally.

For animals, UV overexposure may cause eye and skin cancers. Species of marine animals in their developmental stage have been threatened in recent years by the increased UV radiation under the Antarctic ozone hole. This threatens the fresh and saltwater food chains.

It is important to know that the ozone layer will recover, though it will require changes to be made. The world cannot make enough ozone to replace what's been destroyed, but provided that we stop producing ozone-depleting substances, natural ozone production reactions should return the ozone layer to normal levels by 2050.

By signing this petition, you pledge to help prevent the ozone depletion situation from getting worse. Ways this can be accomplished are as follows: Unplug electronic instruments when they are not in use (they emit CFC's even when they are not in use, choose to walk instead of using private vehicles, prefer buying energy-efficient appliances (like fluorescent bulbs), plant trees (they absorb UV rays greatly and thus protect the environment), replace old refrigerators and air conditioners (they are the major contributors of CFC in the atmosphere, avoid or restrict the use of insecticides and pesticides.

Together we can help return the ozone levels back to normal and preserve the lives and health of many humans and animals.

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