Ozone Day – 16th Sep

Image Credit: https://www.un.org/en/observances/ozone-day

September 16 is world ozone day!

  • Why it is celebrated on 16th September ?
  • What is ozone ?
  • Is ozone hole is really a hole in the atmosphere ?
  • How ozone is formed ?
  • Why it is important ?
  • Do you know about the good ozone and bad ozone
  • How ozone is depleted and how we can save our ozone layer
  • Does the corona lockdown had closed the ozone hole or not?

These are some of the questions many of us will have. Right?

Let me try to answer to these questions so that it will help you in better understanding the importance and preservation of ozone.

Ozone is a molecule composed of three oxygen atoms and it is present in a gaseous form in the atmosphere, specifically located in and extended throughout the stratosphere.

The ozone layer is mainly found in the lower portion of the stratosphere, from approximately 15 to 35 kilometers (9.3 to 21.7 mi) above Earth, although its thickness varies seasonally and geographically. The ozone layer was discovered in 1913 by the French physicists Charles Fabry and Henri Buisson.

Stratospheric ozone is formed naturally through the interaction of solar ultraviolet (UV) radiation with molecular oxygen (O2). The “ozone layer,” reduces the amount of harmful UV radiation reaching the Earth’s surface. Its molecules act as a shield protecting us from solar radiation. When the radiation reaches the ozone layer, it passes through the ozone molecules and these are responsible for returning part of radiation back to space, in this way the radiation that reaches us is minimized. This is the good ozone.  Like a burning wire, Like chlorine ozone smell is Sweet and pungent.

When inhaled, ozone can damage the lungs, can cause chest pain, coughing, shortness of breath and, throat irritation. This is the bad ozone.

Ozone hole is not actually a hole but the ozone layer thickness is reduced over the polar regions and the layer is very thin over these areas are termed as ozone holes.

In 1985, Joe Farman, Brian Gardiner and Jonathan Shanklin reportedunanticipated and large decreases in stratospheric ozone levels over the Antarctic stations of Halley and Faraday.

Although this hole is due to the natural fluctuations of ozone in the atmosphere, it also caused by human activities which emit gases that end up in the stratosphere and degrade the ozone molecules, increasing the size and effect of this hole in the ozone layer. This is an environmental and health problem, since the excess of solar radiation is a threat to any form of life.

The ozone hole’s closing was because of a phenomenon called the polar vortex, and not because of reduced pollution levels due to Covid-19 lockdowns around the world, reports said.

Avoid the consumption of gases dangerous to the ozone layer, due to their content or manufacturing process. Some of the most dangerous gases are CFCs (chlorofluorocarbons), halogenated hydrocarbon, methyl bromide and nitrous oxide.

Minimize the use of cars. The best transport option is urban, bicycle, or walking. If you use a car to a destination, try to carpool with others to decrease the use of cars in order to pollute less and save.

Do not use cleaning products that are harmful to the environment and to us. Many cleaning products contain solvents and substances corrosive, but you can replace these dangerous substances with non-toxic products such as vinegar or bicarbonate.

Buy local products. In this way, you not only get fresh products but you avoid consuming food that has traveled long distances. As the more distance traveled, the more nitrous oxide is produced due to the medium used to transport that product.

Maintain air conditioners, as their malfunctions cause CFC to escape into the atmosphere.

In 1994, the UN General Assembly proclaimed 16 September the International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer, commemorating the date of the signing, in 1987, of the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer.

The ozone layer is steadily repairing itself following a drastic global reduction in the use of ozone-depleting substances, the UN’s environmental agency has found. The world’s ozone layer is on track to be completely healed by the 2060s, according to modelling by the UN’s environmental agency (UNEP)

Let us follow the Montreal protocol and help the ozone healing process and make this planet a better place to live. Thank you!