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World Ozone Day 2020: Know The Theme And Top Facts About Ozone Layer; Tips To Prevent Ozone Layer Depletion

Montreal protocol was signed on September 16
It is an international treaty planned for protection of ozone layer
Ozone layer can be depleted by products with chlorofluorocarbons

International Ozone Day is observed on September 16. Also known as World Ozone Day, this event is meant to remind people about the signing of Montreal Protocol on reducing substances that deplete the ozone layer. The ozone layer or ozone shield is a region of Earth's stratosphere which absorbs most of the Sun's harmful ultraviolet radiation. The stratosphere contains ozone in high concentration, as compared to other layers of the atmosphere. Signed on September 16, 1987, the Montreal Protocol was signed on substances that deplete the ozone layer. The day for International Ozone Day was chosen by United Nations General Assembly in its 49/114 resolution.

World Ozone Day 2019 Theme

The theme of International Ozone Day is "32 years and healing". The theme celebrates 30 plus years of international cooperation to protect Ozone layer and the climate under Montreal Protocol. World Ozone Day theme is also meant to remind people to keep up the momentum and take necessary steps for environment-friendly planet. According to the latest Scientific Assessment of Ozone depletion completed in 2018, parts of Ozone layer have recovered at a rate of 1-3% per decade since 2000.

At these protected rates, Northern hemisphere and mid-latitude ozone is likely to heal by 2030s. The Southern hemisphere will follow in 2050s and the Polar regions by 2060. Efforts towards curbing climate change have helped in protection of ozone layer.

World Ozone day history and important facts

1. The Montreal protocol is basically an international treaty which is planned for protection of ozone layer by reducing production of substances that are responsible for ozone layer depletion.

2. The Montreal Protocol was first implemented on January, 1989.

3. On International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer, educators teach their students about the importance of ozone layer for survival.

4. Vienna Convention and Montreal protocol became the first treaties in UN history to achieve universal ratification on September 16, 2009.

World Ozone Day 2019: What is ozone layer and what causes depletion of ozone layer?

Ozone layer was discovered by Professor Gordon Dobson of Oxford University in 1957. As mentioned above, Ozone layer offers protection from UV rays of the sun. Ozone or O3 is present around 15 to 35 km above earth. It is the lower portion of stratosphere and has relatively high concentration of ozone. The layer is naturally formed through interaction of solar ultraviolet radiation with molecular oxygen O2. Ozone layer performs the function of reducing UV radiation reaching Earth's surface.

At the surface level, ozone is considered as an air pollutant which can cause photochemical smog and acid rain.

Ozone layer can be depleted because of human activity and chemicals like chlorine and bromine. Known as ozone-depleting substances (ODS) these chemicals can break down hundreds of thousands of ozone molecules. chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), carbon tetrachloride, hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) and methyl chloroform are other ODS that can survive for as long as 100 years.

Effects of ozone layer depletion

Depletion of ozone layer has an adverse effect on the environment. It can alter life cycles of plants and also disrupt food chains. Global warming is caused by depletion of ozone layer. It is because of global warming that there are climatic changes all over the world.
Depletion of ozone layer may also cause:
Sun burn, sun tan and even skin cancer because of less protection from UV rays of the sun.

Depletion of ozone layer can cause sunburn and suntan
Photo Credit: iStock
Exposure to UV rays of the sun for a long time can cause damage to immune system. It can also cause burning or eyes - a condition known as snow blindness.
UV rays of the sun can be one of the many reasons for premature ageing.

Exposure to UV rays can lead to premature ageing of skin
Photo Credit: iStock
Ozone layer depletion: know the tips for prevention

In order to prevent ozone layer depletion, it is important to avoid usage of products with CFCs such as hair sprays, cosmetics and aerosolos in plastic containers. Plant more tress in your surrounding and use environment-friendly fertilisers. Use eco-friendly modes of communication as vehicular pollution can contribute to air pollution (which is a major cause of ozone layer depletion). Avoid use of plastic and rubber tries.

This World Ozone Day, make sure that you are doing your part in preserving ozone layer by following these steps.

Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information
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