Ozone is a special form of oxygen. Most oxygen molecules in the air are composed of two atoms. The ozone molecule consists of three oxygen atoms.
Thickness of the ozone layer
The ozone layer of the atmosphere is very thin. If all the ozone available from the atmosphere uniformly covers an area of 45 square kilometers, you will get a layer thickness of 0.3 cm. A little ozone enters the lower atmosphere with drafts.
Danger and usefulness of the ozone layer.
Ozone breathing is very dangerous, since this gas destroys the lungs. Pedestrians who breathe large amounts of ozone begin to drown and feel chest pain.
Ozone absorbs ultraviolet rays. These are the same rays from which the skin tans. But if the excess of ultraviolet radiation falls on your skin, you can suffer sunburn or skin cancer.
What destroys the ozone layer?
It was discovered that chlorine fluorine derivatives (freon compounds) used in refrigerators, air conditioners and aerosol cans destroy ozone.
Under the action of solar radiation, Freons release chlorine, which decomposes ozone to form ordinary oxygen. Instead of such interaction, the ozone layer is destroyed and disappears.
In 1978, based on data on the effect of freons on the ozone layer of the atmosphere, the government of the United States of America (USA) banned the production and sale of aerosols containing freons.
The aerosols contain cluroflorucarburos known as CFC's, substance that causes the hole in the ozone layer.
In 1974, Mario Molina (Mexican) and Sherwood Rowland (North American) announced that CFCs destroy ozone in the stratosphere, causing very harmful effects to nature and man. In 1985 the hole in the ozone layer is discovered whose size is similar to the US territory.Source
The discovery of the British confirms that the widespread use of freons creates the problem of ozone holes. Scientists estimate that a 1 percent decrease in the ozone content in the upper atmosphere causes an increase in the incidence of skin cancer by 3-6 percent, since the permeability of the atmosphere to ultraviolet rays increases in 2 percent.
Ultraviolet rays also have a damaging effect on the body's immune system, which makes us more susceptible to infectious diseases, such as malaria. Ultraviolet rays destroy plant cells, from trees to cereals.
Ozone layer and climate impact
Even more disturbing, is that the depletion of the ozone layer can change unpredictably Earth's climate.
The result can be droughts, crop failures, food shortages and famine. Some scientists have calculated that even if measures are taken and all activities that destroy the ozone layer are stopped, it will take 100 years to completelrestore it.