The ozone is a protective layer above the earth’s surface that keeps harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun at bay. However, over the recent few years it’s been undergoing massive depletion due to release of harmful compounds such as nitrogen oxide and chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) into the atmosphere. Consequently, this has resulted to an increase in certain health problems among humans. Below is a brief explanation of how does ozone depletion impact human health.
How Does Ozone Depletion Impact Human Health?
So, how does ozone depletion impact human health? The ozone can affect human health by causing skin cancer and melanoma, eye damage, diminished immunity and it quickens the ageing process.
Skin Cancer and Melanoma
Excessive exposure to UV rays caused by ozone-destruction has been found to increase the chances of catching skin cancer. In fact, studies show that 1 out of every 5 Americans will develop skin cancer at some stage in their life, while at least 1 American passes away from the condition every hour.
It may trigger the formation of rough bumps and nodules in various parts of the skin exposed to direct sunlight, plus sometimes this form of cancer, also known as basal cell carcinoma, may penetrate into the patient’s bone structure and cause pain & destruction.
Even more, the patient may develop melanoma which is among the most devastating forms of skin cancer. It occurs when the cells responsible for causing pigmentation become cancerous, and the person develops symptoms such as untreatable sores, itchiness, bleeding and redness around the affected area.
Studies show that prolonged exposure to sun rays may cause irritation of eye tissues, which can trigger a ‘burning’ sensation known as photokeratitis or snow blindness’ as it’s popularly called.
Likewise, it may cause the formation of cataracts in the eyes, whereby a layer of unwanted cells develop around the lenses and cause blurred vision. If not treated early enough, cataract can trigger partial or full blindness in the patient whereby they won’t be able to see again.
Other eye-conditions associated with depletion of the ozone and increased UV exposure include; macula degeneration and pterygium which is tissue-growth that blocks eyesight. To avoid these problems, it’s always advisable to wear sunglasses when planning to spend long hours out in the sun, they can protect your eyes from up to 99 to 100 pct of destructive ultraviolet rays.
Researchers have established that extreme sunlight has the potential to suppress immune functioning, thereby exposing the skin to diseases it would have otherwise naturally prevented if the body’s defense system was working optimally.
It also increases the chances of getting sunburn, which occurs when skin cells are burnt and become damaged due to the absorption of harmful sun energy. This makes excessive blood to rush to the affected part as a way of fostering healing, thereby causing the area around the skin to become very red due to sunburn.
Fastens Ageing Process
Ultraviolet rays are known to destroy delicate collagen and connective tissues found beneath the skin, this triggers wrinkling, loss of elasticity and formation of brown spots which can make the person appear older than they really are. Since the ageing process occurs gradually, you may not be able to notice there’s a problem until it becomes too late.
So, how does ozone depletion impact human health? To summarize, the short answer is yes. There’s evidence to show a direct correlation between the destruction of the ozone and certain human health conditions. It causes increased exposure to UV radiation that leads to skin cancer, eye problems and decreased immunity among other conditions. This is why many large companies and factories have taken initiatives to save energy and be greener to conserve what is left of the ozone. You can do your research on what the top “green” businesses are to ensure that you’re spending money with businesses who are conscious of the environment.