The ozone layer, our protection from the harmful ultraviolet rays of the sun, is not showing the fast healthy return to its previous state that was thought back in 1999. The more it depletes and the longer it takes to regain its previous state, the more possibility that skin cancer is going to keep increasing not decreasing.
Researchers continue to warn everyone from sunbathers to skiers, children to adults and everyone in between to take care when they are outside. Wear the proper protective clothing; use a good sunscreen with a sun protection factor of at least fifteen.
The ozone layer is supposed to protect us, but it cant do its job until it can repair itself and that may take another fifty years. It had been thought that pollution was the main culprit in the destruction of the protective ozone layer but now they think its because of climate changes. Scientists believe that the high altitude areas may have lost up to fifty percent of the ozone layers coverage. That puts skiers at an even higher risk for sun exposed skin cancer than sunbathers.
Since the continued thinning of the ozone layer allows more of the suns ultraviolet light through this poses a problem to humans and their obsession with the sun. Studies have shown that for every one percent that the ozone layer thins the cases of skin cancer rise three percent. This is a dangerous prospect. Scientists are worried about the human skin.
The ozone layer has long been a project for repair. It was believed this would happen gradually but steadily as certain major pollutants were removed from daily usage. This includes CFCs and a variety of other chemicals. Scientists are convinced that the ozone layer had, n many places, been depleted by an average of thirty percent and they are more unsure now of what to do to improve that.
Protection a Must
But with this depletion comes increased awareness of how bad this is for men, women and children who are outside a lot. The ozone layer is supposed to be like a cover to protect humans, and animals alike, form the ravages of ultraviolet light. But with the damage done our protective covering is damaged enough that it cannot do its job. That means that more than ever before its essential that we protect ourselves when outside. That means wearing hats, long sleeves, when we can, sunglasses and wearing sunscreen.
Although there is hope that the ozone layer is starting to slowly come back to its original condition scientists know that this will take time. They still strongly believe it will happen. The concern is that in the meantime the skin cancer rate will double by the year 2100.
Oddly Australia is showing the effects of the ozone layer problem with increased cases of skin cancer already. During the Australian summer the country winds up closer to the sun that Europe; that means more exposure to the ultraviolet rays of the sun by almost fifteen percent.
photo by Dave Gilbert- CreativeCommons Attribution