Ozone Layer Essay, Research Paper
Society has been widely addressed with the many problems that we are
having in our environment today. A major problem is that of CFCs. CFC
stands for Chlorofluorocarbons which are found in many of the aerosol spray
cans. In December of 1973, Rowland and Molina discovered that CFCs can
destroy the ozone in the stratosphere.
In June 1975, the Natural Resources Defence Council (NRDC) sued the
Consumers Product Safety Commission for a band of CFCs used in aerosol
spray cans. United States’s fifth largest manufacturers of aerosol sprays
announced that they will reduce the amount of CFCs used in there products.
But as things started to get better, The Consumer Product Safety Commission
rejected NRDC’s law suit in July stating that there was insufficient
evidence towards the amount of harm the CFCs were doing to the ozone layer.
On September 1976, a report was released which re-enforced Rowland and
Molina’s hypothesis, but also stated that the govern- ment action on CFC
regulations should be postponed. This report also stated that the CFCs can
initiate climatic changes and contribute to the warming of the earth’s
atmosphere, i.e., the greenhouse effect.
May 1977, several government agencies announced joint plans to limit,
but not eliminate uses of CFCs in aerosol spray cans. But on February of
the following year, the government decided to postpone the regulations on
CFCs used in refrigeration, air conditioning, solvents, and other
industrial processes. With all the new regulations taking affect and being
postponed, nothing was getting accomplished, but finally, on October 1978,
aerosols where banned in the United States.
August of 1981, satellite pictures showed that over one percent of the
ozone was lost due to CFCs. Then, in October of 1984, research groups
found a forty percent loss of ozone over Antarctica. In August of 1985,
satellite photos confirmed the existence of an ozone hole over Antarctica.
Even though many were trying to reduce the amount of CFCs in their
products, there were still some out there who wanted to make the fast buck.
February 1988, three US senators asked Du Pont to stop making CFCs but the
chairman denied the requested. Three weeks later, the chairman agrees to
ease manufacturing of chemicals, but only when substitutes were available.
Eight in a million of the widely scattered molecules are ozone in our
atmosphere–this is what is responsible for the rising of temperature.
Ozone takes in ultra-violet rays when they come from the sun and converts
the radiation to heat and chemical energy. The ozone layer also seals
earth from the many of the other powerful radiation rays that the sun gives
off. Splitting of oxygen molecules depends upon the intense radiation,
therefore, the greatest ozone production is over the tropics. The ozone is
dangerous to us because is causes many types of skin cancer such as
malignant melanoma–a very deadly cancer which causes death to forty
percent of all recorded cases of cancer. Many people predict that the ozone
layer would cause thirty thousand skin cancers just in the United States
alone, and over five hundred-thousand world wide. Cancer, though, is only
one of the few problems that the ozone layer causes. For example small
organisms such as plankton in the sea which is the aquatic food which
serves as the basic food chain would be destroyed and therefore destroying
the food chain–not only the sea food chain, but also the land. Nobody
knows what exact reaction there may be if the ozone continues to break down
as it is now.
Besides rays from the sun, photon can also come in the Earth and be
destructive. Outer portions of the atmosphere, i.e., the thermosphere, the
energy from the photon is used to photodisociate (break down) oxygen
Ozone is an unstable compound, if it is left to itself it will turn
into O2, but this takes place very slowly in the presents of light.
Air pollution increases ozone destruction as show below. NO, nitrogen
oxide, is air pollution.
The troposphere has too much ozone and ozone is harmful to us if is
too close. Ten to fifteen molecules per million of ozone in the atmosphere
is enough to kill small animals. Since the number is eight per million
already, it is not long until it will get extremely destructive. Shown
below is how ozone can be created, ozone being O3 and NO2 being pollution.
The hole in the ozone layer is become bigger every day. If we do not
do anything to stop it, it will eventually kill us. There is so much we can
do–but we must be willing to do it. Time is what we have not of.
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4. Oxtoby, David W., Norman H. Nachtribe and Wade A. Freeman.
Chemistry: Science of Change. Toronto: Saunders College
5. Roan, Sharon. Ozone Crisis: The 15-Year Evolution Of A
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