Harmful Effects Ozone Layer Thinning Has on Nature and Human Health
If we look around the world today, we see things that make us cry. When we open any newspaper, we see tragic news, one after another. We wonder why there is sorrow and suffering today when the world is so technologically advanced. Then we realize that all our scientific inventions and discoveries are the root of this suffering. Ozone depletion is one of those serious issues in many parts of the world today and deserves more attention.
Ozone depletion is also known as thinning of the ozone layer. Ozone layer is found in the stratosphere, which is approximately 15-30 kilometers above the Earth’s surface ( Nunez, 2019, para.1). This ozone layer plays a significant role in protecting organisms from the destructive impacts of ultraviolet (UV) radiations. Unfortunately, the ozone layer is being destroyed by various human activities nowadays. Eventually, ozone depletion will lead to negative impacts on human health.
Firstly, the thinning of the ozone layer is due to the increasing level of chlorofluorocarbons in the atmosphere. Chlorofluorocarbon is a very active molecule that contains chlorine, carbon, and fluorine. Since chlorofluorocarbons are highly stable man-made synthesis chemicals, it had remained in the environment around one century. Once it is released into the stratosphere, ultraviolet beams break down a chlorofluorocarbons molecule which will give one chlorine radical. In a chain reaction, these chlorine radicals attack an ozone molecule and break it apart.
Thus, the presence of low ozone concentration in the atmosphere will eventually lead to the formation of the ozone hole (Gan. W. Y, 2017, pp. 305&306). The ozone hole is formed in the region where the ozone layer has been depleted. The thinning of the ozone layer was mainly due to human activities especially the use of ozone-destroying chlorofluorocarbon in aerosols and coolants in air conditioners and refrigerators (National Geographic Society, 2011, pa. 7).
Secondly, it has been proven that chlorofluorocarbons (CFCS) is the major cause of ozone depletion (University of Waterloo,2017). The strong wind carry the CFCS and then it infiltrated into stratosphere. CFCS is then separated by UV radiation and causes a chlorine atom to break away then it reacts with ozone molecule (O3), combined with an oxygen atom to form chlorine monoxide. The chlorine monoxide molecule combines with an oxygen atom to make up a chlorine atom and an oxygen molecule. The chlorine atom is released and continuously decomposes more ozone molecules. Ozone depletion is happened and UV radiation is easier to reach Earth’s surface through the ozone hole. At the same time, organisms in the earth exposed to ultraviolet radiation. This has affects humans health indirectly such as skin cancer and other diseases (Paul B, 2017). Thus, this can be seen that CFCS have bring an impact not only on environment but on human too.
In addition, ozone depletion leads UV rays penetrate through the earth might have a huge effect on human. Too much of UV radiation might cause sunburn, skin cancer, ageing and more. This is because UV rays penetrates deeply into the skin which the cell and the genetic material can be damaged easily. First of all, the UV rays destroys the elastin which is known as fibre in the epidermis of human. When elastin breakdown, the epidermis starts to become wrinkly and would not return to its original position (Cleveland Clinic, 2015, para 3). Furthermore, if the damaged cell is unable to recover, the biggest possibility is it will distribute in an uncontrolled way and begin to form tumour. In a more serious way, the tumour might just lead to cancer (Cancer Council NSW, para 4). Therefore it proved that, humans health also can be effect by the UV rays of the Sun due to ozone depletion.
In conclusion, it is important to remember that the increase of chlorofluorocarbons level in the atmosphere will lead to skin cancer. If the increase of chlorofluorocarbons level in the atmosphere is not controlled properly, it will lead to the formation of ozone hole. The formation of ozone hole will cause organisms on Earth to be exposed under UV radiation. Further exposure to UV radiation might cause disability in damaged cell to recover which might form a tumour and further develop into cancer. This should be taken as a serious matter by every human because they are the main cause of major chlorofluorocarbon production. Every human should stop damaging the environment as it can be considered an act of shooting oneself in the foot.
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