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Shrinking Ozone Layer Creates More Skin Cancer PDF  | Print |  E-mail
The people of our world need more protection.  Not only from each other, but also from nature's purest elements.  The ozone layer is in trouble and not able to block the sun like it once did.  Now, more than ever, we need protection from the sun. And the shrinking ozone layer needs protection from us.

Researchers continue to warn children to adults, sunbathers to skiers, children to adults and everyone in between to cover up and take care while spending time outside.  We need to wear proper protective clothing, and use a good sunscreen with a sun protection factor of at least fifteen.

The ozone layer is meant to act as a filter, and protect us from the sun's damaging ultraviolet rays.  However, it can't do its job until it can repair itself, and that may take another fifty years. Scientists once believed that pollution was the main culprit in the destruction of the protective ozone layer, but they now attribute the growing damage to climate change. Areas of high altitude may have lost up to fifty percent of the coverage once provided by the ozone layer, putting skiers at higher risk of sun cancer than sunbathers.

The ozone layer once served as our protection from the harmful ultraviolet rays of the sun.  In the 1990s, scientists realized that pollution and other factors were causing the ozone layer to deteriorate.  Despite our efforts, the ozone layer is not showing the fast, healthy return to its previous state that was anticipated back in 1999.  The more the ozone layer becomes depleted, and the longer it takes to regain its previous state, the greater our likelihood of developing skin cancer.

The ozone layer has long been a project in need of serious repair. It was once believed that the ozone layer would heal itself gradually but steadily, as certain major pollutants were removed from daily usage. The list of harmful pollutants included CFCs and a variety of other chemicals.  Today, scientists are convinced that the ozone layer had actually been depleted by an average of thirty percent in many places, and they are now unsure of what must be done to improve the depletion.  

The continued thinning of the ozone layer allows more of the sun's ultraviolet light through, and this poses a serious problem to humans, particularly those with an obsession with the sun.  Studies have shown that for every one percent that the ozone layer thins, the occurrence of skin cancer rises three percent.  This is a dangerous prospect and of course, scientists have reason to worry about the condition of human skin.

With this depletion of the ozone layer, there has been an increased awareness of the dangers posed to men, women and children who spend time outdoors. The ozone layer is supposed to act as a cover to protect humans and animals from the ravages of ultraviolet light.  Unfortunately, our protective covering has been damaged to the extent that it simply cannot do its job. That means that now, more than ever before, we must protect ourselves when we go outside in the sun.  Wearing hats, long sleeves, sunglasses and sunscreen is necessary for our health and well being today, and in the future.

There is hope that the ozone layer is starting to slowly come back to its original condition.  Scientists strong believe that this will eventually happen, although they know that it will take time.  In the meantime, there is concern that the rate of skin cancer diagnoses will have doubled by the year 2100.   Australia is already showing the effects of the depleted ozone layer.  During the Australian summer, the continent falls closer to the sun, increasing the exposure to the ultraviolet rays of the sun by nearly fifteen percent.

There is no doubt that the weakened ozone layer has led to an increase in skin cancer.  While we cannot replace the ozone's protective layer, we can help to shield ourselves by wearing sunscreen and protective clothing.
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