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The Ozone Layer - Is it Depleting?

Ozone is a form of oxygen that is present in the earth's atmosphere in small amounts. Ozone in the upper atmosphere is a major factor in making life on the earth possible. The ozone layer lies in the stratosphere, between 16 and 50 kilometres above the earth's surface This layer shields us from some of the ultraviolet rays from the sun.

With the passage of time, the ozone layer is becoming thinner a thinner, allowing harmful ultraviolet rays from the sun to pass through the atmosphere. No one knows for certain what is causing the ozone layer to become thinner. But we do know that certain chemicals make ozone break down and disappear. These chemicals are used in aerosol sprays and refrigerators and to make plastic cartons and other products.

Many aerosol spray cans contain harmful chemicals called chloroflurocarbons (CFCs). When a refrigerator is in use, the CFCs are safely contained. But when the refrigerator is thrown away or broken up, the CFCs are released into the atmosphere.

Skin cancer is caused and the incidence of cataracts also increase as a result of ozone depletion in the atmosphere. Plants are al damaged as more ultraviolet radiation makes its way to the earl Ocean life may also be affected.

The only solution to cope with this increasing menance is to put an end of CFC's and other ozone depleting chemicals.

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