The Causes and Effects of Ozone Depletion

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The Causes and Effects of Ozone Depletion Everyday millions of people are exposed to an unseen danger that can cause horrible and drastic effects; something so horrible that without prevention could lead to a horrible future. This danger is the depleting of the Ozone Layer. The depletion of the ozone layer primarily due to Ozone Depleting Substances has potentially devastating effects on human health; it leads to global warming and climate change additionally, it also affects the growth and development of plants. The ozone layer is a deep layer in the stratosphere, encircling the Earth that has large concentrations of ozone (a form of oxygen) in it. This layer absorbs part of the infrared radiation and shields the entire earth from much of the harmful ultraviolet radiation that comes from the sun. Today there is widespread concern that the ozone layer is deteriorating due to the release of pollution; especially containing the chemicals chlorine and bromine. Such deterioration allows large amounts of ultraviolet B rays to reach earth. There are many causes for ozone depletion but the primary culprits in the ozone layer breakdown are referred to as “Ozone Depleting Substances” (ODS). These substances are a group of manufactured chemicals containing chlorine and bromine. They are very stable non- toxic and environmentally safe in the lower atmosphere. However, their very stability allows them to float up, intact to the stratosphere. Once there they are broken apart by intense ultraviolet light, releasing chlorine and bromine free radicals which demolish the ozone layer at an alarming rate. The main ozone depleting substances are chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), hydrochloroflurocarbons (HCFCs), carbon tetrachloride; methyl orange and halogen ions (brominated fluorocarbons). The depletion of the ozone layer has led to a number of effects associated with various

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