Today is International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer. Since 1995, September 16 of each year is celebrated as the International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer. This date has been designed as such by the United Nations General Assembly in order to commemorate the signing of the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer.
The Ozone Layer describes the protective layer of naturally occurring gas, comprised of three atoms of oxygen found about 10 – 50 km above the earth’s surface that protects us from the harmful ultraviolet radiation or UV-B rays of sun. Scientist in the 1970’s discovered that the layer was thinning as a result of the release of CFC’s, consequently, the Ozone Hole developed. In 1985, nations around the world convened at Vienna in an attempt to develop a framework for co-operative activities to protect the Ozone layer. This signed agreement became known as the Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer.
In particular, developing countries should focus on eliminating the use of methyl bromide as a pesticide in agriculture and they must halt illegal trade in CFCs.
More than 130,000 new cases of melanoma are reported around the world and some 66,000 people die from skin cancer every year.
What we can do
Awareness is the first step to begin protecting our damaged ozone layer . There are many simple ways to save our ozone layer.
- Avoid the purchase and use of aerosol sprays containing chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs).
- Avoid the use of fire extinguishers with halogenated hidrocarbon, a substance being very aggressive to the ozone layer.
- Avoid buying insulating material made from CFC. Instead, you can use the dark chipboard cork that do not pollute the environment for the same purpose.
- Keep clean the air conditioning because if a malfunction occurs it emmit CFCs in the atmosphere.
- Check the freezer and the car air-conditioning. If they malfunction, need repairing soon, because they may leak.
- Buy a refrigerator or air conditioner which is CFC-free .
Some other actions which can be taken are :
- Reduce the use of your car and of other gadgets like compressors, lawn mowers, etc.
- Use alternative means of transport: buses, bicycles, or simply walk.
- Reduce the use of heating and air-conditioning.
- Buy energy saving gadgets and bulbs. You will reduce levels of pollution and money.
Each of us can help protect the environment. Before demanding politicians to implement policies to protect the ozone layer, we must start doing something for the environment.