As the years pass our ozone layer as we know it, is becoming thinner. Thus allowing more harmful UV rays to reach us. The ozone layer is the only thing that stands between the earth and the suns harmful UV rays. The ozone layer absorbs 99% of the suns harmful UV rays, but this number is slowly decreasing.
Ozone depletion occurs by Chlorofluorocarbons (also known as CFC’s) which are used in various forms of refrigerants and solvents. When CFC’s reach the stratosphere, ultraviolet radiation cause them to break apart and release chlorine atoms which react with molecules. These chlorine atoms are responsible for ozone depletion. One chlorine atom can destroy 100,000 ozone molecules. Thus leaving us more susceptible to harmful UV radiation.
Some for of sun energy can be harmful to life. This includes the sun’s burning or “ultraviolet” rays. These are the rays that cause sunburn and skin cancer. There are three different types of UV rays. UV-A which are the weakest, UV-B, and UV-C which are the strongest.
There can be serious side effects to UV ray exposure. These effects include cataracts and cancer. Skin aging (such as wrinkles) is a mild effect of UV ray exposure.
There are different intensity levels of UV rays. The UV index is a measure of the intensity of the sun’s ultraviolet radiation in the sun burning spectrum. Sun burn is a result of UV radiation exposure exceeding the limit of the body pigment.
Ozone depletion is strongly linked to an increase in cases of skin cancer.
Check out MOPIA’s Power point presentation…. it details ozone depletion and its relation to sun safety! Click here.
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