Atmospheric Issues – Ozone Depletion
September 29, 2013
There are many environmental issues plaguing the world. One of those includes ozone depletion. The ozone layer is the portion of the atmosphere around the earth that soaks up harmful ultraviolet radiation that the sun emits. It is very important to all life forms on earth. Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) have harmed the ozone layer for decades and caused ultraviolet rays than to become a great issue in concerns to human health and safety and with other plants and animals. (Ozone Layer, 2002). According to Berg, Hager & Hassenzahl (2012), “Chlorofluorocarbons are human-made organic compounds that contain chlorine and fluorine.” Because of the great damage these compounds have had on the ozone layer, they have been banned, but that is a process that is still in the works as CFCs being phased out all over the world. The negative results these have had on the ozone layer will continue to be a problem for several decades to come.
Because of ozone depletion, being in the sun for extended periods of time can be extremely harmful for humans. People who spend any amount of time outside in the sun are encouraged to wear protective elements, including sunscreen lotion, sunglasses and/or clothing that covers the skin. Human skin being exposed to the sun with no protection can cause sunburn or even a form of skin cancer called melanoma. According to the “Skin Cancer Foundation,” melanoma is “the most dangerous form of skin cancer.” Damage to skin cells from UV rays causes mutations in the skin cells that reproduce rapidly and form malignant tumors. If found and treated early on, melanoma is usually curable, but once it metastasizes, it becomes hard to treat and can be fatal.
In addition to humans, UV radiation effects plant and animal life. The excessive amounts of UV radiation can “cause damage to early developmental stages of fish, shrimp, crab, amphibians and...