is a naturally occurring molecule containing three molecules of oxygen. At
ground level, ozone is health hazard and a major constituent of smog. In the
stratosphere, ozone protects life on earth by absorbing ultraviolet (UV)
radiation from the sun. the release of chlorofluorocarbons (CFC) and other
ozone-depleting substances, which were used widely as refrigerants, insulting
foams and solvents.
wearing out or reduction of the amount of ozone in the stratosphere is called ozone
layer depletion. One major human activity cause ozone depletion. Industries
that manufacture things like soaps, solvents, insulating foams, cooling things
like ‘Take-Away’ containers, Refrigerators and Air Conditioners, use something
called chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs). These substances are heavier than air this
substances are carried high into the stratosphere by wind action, over time
about two-five years.
layer depletion has consequences on plants, animals and humans. This is because
of the high UV levels reaching us on earth.
OZONE DEPLETION HAPPENS (refer appendix12):
depletion is caused by the release of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and other
ozone-depleting substances (ODS). This substances are the substance that are
used widely as solvent, insulting foams and refrigerants. CFCs are heavier than
air. CFCs are carried into the stratosphere in a process that can take as long
as 2 to 5 years. By using satellites, aircraft and balloons, measurements of
CFCs in the stratosphere are made.
ultraviolet radiation from the sun causes CFCs to release chlorine atoms which
react with ozone and break apart. This happens when CFCs reach the stratosphere.
This will cause it to start chemical cycles of ozone destruction that will
deplete the ozone layer. One chlorine atom can destroy more than hundred
thousand ozone molecules.
chloroform that are used as a solvent in industrial processes for essential
applications, halons that are used in fire extinguishers, and methyl bromide
that are used as a pesticide are example of other chemicals that damage the
ozone layer. When halons and methyl bromide are broken apart, they release
bromine atoms. Compared to chlorine atoms, halons and methyl bromide are forty
times more destructive to ozone molecules.
1) Natural causes of depletion of ozone layer:
natural phenomena such as stratospheric winds and Sun-spots is found to be
caused by ozone depletion. Sun-spot and stratospheric is found to cause not
more than one to two percent depletion of the ozone layer. The effects may also
be thought to be only temporary. It is also believed that, contributed towards
ozone depletion, the major volcanic eruptions mainly in Mt. Pinatubo in 1991
and El Chichon in 1983. (refer appendix 14)
Man-made causes of
depletion of ozone layer:
As excessive release of bromine and chlorine from man-made compounds
such as chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), is the main cause for the depletion of
ozone. Direct impact on the depletion of the ozone layer is caused by CFCs,
methyl bromide, CCl4 (Carbon tetrachloride), halons, CH3CCl3 (Methyl
chloroform), hydrobromofluorocarbons and HCFCs (hydro-chlorofluorocarbons).
These are the type of ozone-depleting substances.
1) Humans (refer appendix 13)
sensation in the chest, throat irritation, irritate the respiratory system, and
causing coughing are caused by ozone depletion.
function can be reduce by ozone depletion. It will make it more difficult to
breathe vigorously and deeply. Breathing might become more shallow and deep
compared to the normal pace. Ability of a person to engage in vigorous
activities will be limited.
can be triggered by ozone depletion. More people with asthma will have attacks
that will require a doctor’s attention or the use of medication when ozone
levels are high. Ozone makes people more sensitive to allergens. This is the
most common triggers of asthma attacks. Susceptibility to respiratory
infections is increased by ozone.
lining of the lungs can be damage and inflame by ozone. The damaged cells will
be shed and replaced something like the skin peels after a sunburn, within a
few days. Lung tissue may become permanently scarred if this type of
inflammation happens repeatedly over a long time period, shown by animals
studied. This will result in a lower quality of life and permanent loss of lung
2) Effects on Amphibians
numbers of amphibian species are declining because of the ozone depletion. At
every stage of their life cycle of many species, ozone depletion affects. Some
of the effects are mentioned below. Development and growth of hampers in
larvae. Habitat and behaviour changes. Deformities are caused in some species.
Some species have become more expose to death and diseases. This shows decrease
in immunity. Blindness and Retinal damage in some species.
3) Effects on Marine Ecosystems
in UV radiation threatens Plankton. Example of Plankton are phytoplankton and
bacterioplankton. A fundamental role is played in both the oceanic carbon cycle
as well as the food chain by marine phytoplankton. In converting atmospheric
carbon dioxide into oxygen, marine phytoplankton plays an very important role. The
survival rates of these microscopic organisms can influence by ultraviolet rays,
by affecting their mobility and orientation. This will eventually affects and
disturbs the entire ecosystem.
4) Impact on Plants
radiation can alter the number of flowers produced and the time of flowering by
a plant in some species of plants. UV-B radiation can directly affected the
growth of plant growth. Developmental and physiological processes of plants are
1) Stop from using pesticides
rid your farm of weeds and pests, pesticides are great chemicals. However they
contribute highly to ozone layer depletion. Applying natural methods is a
sufficient solution to get rid of weeds and pests. Use alternative eco-friendly
chemicals to alleviate pests and just weed your farm manually.
2) Use environmental friendly cleaning products
chemicals that find way to the atmosphere are in Almost all household cleaning
products. This will result in contributing to depletion of the ozone layer. So
to reduce the ozone layer depletion, use environmentally friendly and natural
3) Use public transportation
the number of vehicles on the road, is one of the most easiest way to lessen ozone
depletion. Greenhouse gases are emitted by this kind of vehicles in large
quantity. Eventually there is a formation of smog which is a catalyst in the
ozone layer depletion. Alternative way is to use public transport such as
train, LRT and many more.
4) Stop the usage of harmful nitrous oxide
limit the usage of Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), the Montreal Protocol formed in
1989 has helped a lot. Sadly, the protocol never covered nitrous oxide. Harmful
chemical that can destroy the ozone layer is known as nitrous oxide. Humans are
still using nitrous oxide till today. Action must be taken by administration
now to reduce the usage of nitrous oxide. This will decrease the rate of ozone