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Other Environmental Issues:
What is the Ozone?
It is a gas that lives in the Earth's upper atmosphere and here on the ground level. The ozone can be good or bad, not just for the atmosphere but for your health too. This all depends on where its location is in the atmosphere.
What is Ozone depletion?
Well its simple, its the slow but steady decline (about 4% per decade) of the ozone in Earth's stratosphere. We first noiced that the ozone was being depleted in the late 1970's. During the same time, it was found that a much larger, seasonal decrease in the stratospheric ozone over the polar regons had started. This is commonly known as the ozone hole. Also to this well known layer of ozone depletion there is also tropospheric ozone depletion, this occures near the surface in polar regons during spring time.
The bad part is the Troposphere layer. This is the layer clesest to us. The pollutant in the layer is harmful to breathe and can make you very sick. It aslo damages crops, trees and alot of other vegetation. We know this to be called Smog. You see it more in urban cities like Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York.
The good is located just above the "bad" layer of ozone. It is called the stratosphere. This layer is designed to protect us from the sun's harmful UV rays. this layer is produced naturally, but the good layer is gradually being destroyed. Man made chemicals or ODS (oxone-depleting substances) like halons, methyl bronide, carbon tetrachloride, or solvents, pesticides, and propellants are the main cause of this depletion. Everyday things have these depleting factors in them like fire extinguishers, coolants and foaming agents. when released they stick around! They could last for years as they move through the troposophere on there way to the stratosphere.
Why is the stratosphere "Good"?
The stratosphere cuts down on the amount of UV rays. UV rays are harmful to us because they are the leading cause of melanoma. since 1990 the risk of developing melanoma (the fatal of all skin cansers) has more than doubled.
What Can YOU Do?
1. Protect yourself against sunburn! Use SPF 15 and re apply every 2 hours or after swimming.
2. Check the UV Index. If it is High or Very High try your hardest to not go outside between 10am and 4pm. www.epa.gov/sunwise/uvindex.html
3. Use approved refrigerants in air conditioning and refrigeration equipment.
4. Check the Air Quality Index often. www.airnow.gov if the index reads as unhealthy limit your time outdoors.
5. Conserving energy at home and the office will help reduce ozone air pollution.
6. Reduce pollution from car, truckd, gas-powered anyting, and boats. Keep equipment tuned and maintained.
7. Fill your car with gas during the cool of the summer nights, and try not to spill gas everywhere.
8. CARPOOL! Reduce car pollution and ride with a friend. Especially on hot summer days.
9. Use chemicals wisely. Low VOC oaints and solvents
10. Read labels for proper use and disposal.
By Danna Ward