Knowledge drives a situation of potentially global impact

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Knowledge drives a situation of potentially global impact


  • plant life short height
  • aquatic life low high
  • skin cancer moderate to high
  • immune system low high
  • Cataract Moderate Low
  • Climate Impact* Moderate Moderate
  • tropospheric ozone medium low



health effects

Our best understanding of the potential effects is in the area of skin cancer, for which detailed epidemiological records and studies exist. For example, it is known that more than 90% of non-melanoma skin cancers are related to UV-B exposure. A 2% increase in UV-B is associated with a 2–5% increase in basal-cell cancer cases and a 4–10% increase in squamous-cell cancer cases.

In 1990, there were ~500,000 cases of basal-cell cancer and ~100,000 cases of squamous-cell cancer in the US. A 1% reduction in ozone would increase skin cancer cases by ~20,000 per year. To put this worrying statistic into context, it is necessary to briefly discuss the geographic spread of skin cancer.



effects on plants

UV-B radiation affects plant physiological and developmental p.

Can affect processes and plant growth. Indirect changes, such as the way nutrients are delivered within the plan, the timing of developmental stages and secondary metabolism and plant form, may be as important as or more important than the direct harmful effects of UVB


  impact on marine ecosystems

Phytoplankton are the foundation of aquatic food webs, and their productivity is limited to the upper layer of the water column that has enough sunlight to support the web.


Productivity. Exposure to solar UVB radiation affects phytoplankton orientation mechanisms and dynamics and reduces survival rates for these organisms. UVB radiation has also been found to damage the early developmental stages of fish, shrimp, crab, amphibians and other animals.


  Effects on Biogeochemical Cycles

An increase in solar UV radiation may affect terrestrial and aquatic biogeochemical cycles, which may affect sources and sinks of greenhouse gases and many other trace gases, such as carbon dioxide (CO2), carbon monoxide (CO), carbonyl sulfide (COS) and possibly ozone. Such changes would contribute to interactions between the atmosphere and the biosphere that either attenuate or strengthen the atmospheric build-up of these gases.


  impact on content

Although many materials are now protected to some degree from UVB by special additives, synthetic polymers, naturally occurring biopolymers and other materials of commercial interest are adversely affected by solar UV radiation. An increase in solar UVB levels will therefore accelerate their breakdown and limit their useful life.


Concluding in 1985, a series of ground-based and airborne measurement campaigns were conducted to develop an understanding of the chemistry and dynamics associated with the Antarctic ozone hole. This understanding lead to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer in October 1987. This required a cap on annual use of CFCs beginning in the 1990s, with a 50% reduction by the year 2000. In 1990, the protocol was amended to take into account the severe damage during the Montreal ozone hole events and the global ozone decline trends. Participating countries substantially strengthened the protocol, called for an accelerated reduction in emissions, and required a complete phase-out of CFCs and other major ozone-depleting substances by 2000. The Montreal Protocol was revised in 1992 to fully phase out CFCs, etc., by 1996.

India is concerned about the ozone problem and signed the Montreal Protocol in 1992. Strict measures have been initiated to eliminate ozone depleting substances in the country. These measures include ban on trade of ozone depleting substances (ODS), licensing

Import and export of ODS and restrictions on new ODS production facilities. The Ozone Cell in the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India, is the Indian national lead agency coordinating all matters relating to the Montreal Protocol.







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