Ozone and Ozone Depletion

Ozone (o3) IS a form of oxygen that forms naturally in the atmosphere and also as a result of some electrical activity. It has a characteristic odor and is an irritating and toxic gas at even low concentrations. Ozone plays a vital role in shielding the surface of the earth from damaging ultraviolet radiation. In recent years, ozone has become increasingly depleted as a result of the emission of man-made chemicals into the air. Fears of widespread damage to the ozone layer—which some believe have led to such diseases as skin cancer—have prompted concerted action to repair the problem.

Ozone is present in the stratosphere, which is a layer in the atmosphere from 10 to 50 kilometers above the surface of the earth. This is the ...

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