The more you know

Ozone hole

Ozone is one of the natural gases that make up the atmosphere: it is formed from oxygen through photochemical reactions caused by solar radiation. It forms a layer that protects the earth from the harmful effects of ultraviolet rays from the sun that cause the ozone hole. For about forty years, some industrial productions have made extensive use of chemical compounds containing chlorine, such as chlorofluorocarbons, present in spray cans, refrigerant gases and solvents of the electronics industry.

Chlorine dispersed in the atmosphere triggers a chemical reaction that returns ozone to the oxygen layer and reduces its production capacity, so each chlorine molecule can modify up to 100,000 ozone molecules.
The ozone loss that causes the ozone hole would be much greater if methane and nitrogen did not transform chlorine into harmless compounds.
The Antarctic region is particularly involved in the thinning process of the ozone layer because the freezing temperature prevents nitrogen from neutralizing the chlorine dispersed in the atmosphere. The consequences for the overall life cycle complex are manifold: weakening of the immune system, skin cancer, cataracts and perhaps even climatic changes. Since chlorine fluorine carbides (CFCs) persist in the atmosphere for decades, representing a serious risk to survival, international initiatives have been taken to reduce their production until their total ban, but the question has not yet been resolved all resolved.


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