The layer that prevents Sun’s ultraviolet radiations from reaching to earth is known as Ozone layer. It is the layer which is formed by two atoms of oxygen with another oxygen atom. In comparison to other things, this layer contains higher concentrations of ozone(O3) This layer lies at 20-30 kilometers distance away from the stratosphere. In 1913, Two French Physicists Henri Buisson and Charles Fabry discovered the ozone layer. The phenomenon, in which ozone layer percentage decreases in the stratospheric region, is known as ozone hole or ozone depletion. Due to ozone depletion, more and more harmful radiations from the sun reach to earth and cause problems. They not only damage various plants and animal species but also pose threats to human beings. It is due to the sun’s high ultraviolet radiations that more cases of skin cancers, cataracts, and blindness arrive in hospitals every day. Well, CFCs are not the only culprits of ozone depletion, but there are many other compounds that led to ozone hole. In this article, I have shared some common causes of Ozone depletion:
1. Natural Causes
Nature is pretty much responsible for ozone depletion. The high stratospheric winds particularly affect the ozone layer. Other common natural effect includes harmful sun-spots. Well, these activities cause very less problems. The major contribution to ozone depletion is provided by nature’s volcanic eruptions. Unfortunately, there is no tactic for avoiding these effects. However, you can prevent yourself from dangerous diseases by staying away from harmful sun-spots and by living in places that do not lie close to volcanoes.
2. Man-Made Causes
The major contribution to ozone depletion is provided by man-made activities. People perform several activities that lead to the release of bromine and chlorine. These are the two essential gases that lead to the ozone hole. In addition to chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), chemical compounds such as hydrochlorofluorocarbons(HCFs), Carbon tetrachloride(CCl4) and Methyl chloroform (CH3CCl3 ) and methyl bromide also lead to the emission of bromine and chlorine. Basically, the free radicals of these gases combine with ozone molecule and destroy the complete structure. As a result, ozone hole and arrival of vast UV rays from Sun. According to researchers, a single chlorine atom can break about 1 Lakh molecules of ozone. And bromine is even more destructive than chlorine.
How are CFCs released into the air or atmosphere?
As already mentioned, CFCs is the ultimate culprit for depleting ozone. There are many ways in which this compound reaches to air and starts showing its effects. CFCs mix with Ozone
- By use of air-conditioners and other coolants
- By use of aerosol sprays
- By use of fire extinguishers
- By use of harmful packaging material
- By use of Adhesives, sterilants
- By use of refrigerators
- By use of dry-cleaning agents
Other Ozone-Depleting Substances
- Halons – that is used for vapor degreasing and cold cleaning processes
- Carbon Tetrachloride – which is particularly used in fire extinguishers and also solvents
- Hydrofluorocarbons – that are also used in coolants, aerosols
- Methyl Chloroform – which is used in various industry processes such as chemical processing, vapor degreasing, etc.
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Effects of Ozone Depletion and Remedy
Because of ozone depletion, the earth temperature is become higher every day. The increasing of CO2 in the earth is known as Global Warming. Not only carbon dioxide but other green house gases such as nitrogen, carbon monoxide also cause global warming, etc. Due to global warming, the population of plankton has been decreased, animals, human beings have been addicted to eye, skin cancers. Threatening UV radiations weaken the human’s immune system. Other than these things, global warming also leads to complete loss of biodiversity. So, it is important to prevent ozone depletion and avoid global warming. For this thing,
o You should minimize use of Air Conditioners
o You should use eco-friendly products
o You must avoid using pesticides and fertilizers
There are several reasons that lead to a hole in the essential stratosphere layer called ozone. Not only man but nature has also contributed to depletion of ozone layer. Sun-spots and volcanic eruptions decrease the ozone layer in various earth’s regions. The use of air-conditioners, coolants, fire-extinguishers contains chemical compounds such as chlorofluorocarbons, carbon tetrachloride, methyl chloroform that deplete the ozone by providing harmful gases such as bromine and chlorine. It is important that you should avoid using fertilizers and use eco-friendly products for minimizing the ozone depletion.