How The Ozone Layer Effects Our Skin

Protect Your Skin And Your Health With These Tips

Miraculous phenomenons occur each day to keep our Earth safe and inhabitable. Chief among these is Earth’s atmospheric shield. Earth essentially has its own natural sunscreen that shields and protects it from the ultraviolet radiation of the sun and atmosphere – the Ozone Layer. The ozone is a layer in the Earth’s atmosphere that contains relatively high concentrations of ozone (O3). This layer is critically important to humans because it absorbs 97 – 99% of the sun’s high frequency ultraviolet light, which is potentially damaging to life on Earth. The issue lies in that scientists have found that the Earth’s ozone layer is thinning, which leads to a number of serious health risks for humans, with children being particularly vulnerable. These risks include:
  • Greater incidences of skin cancer
  • More incidents of cataracts, blindness and eye disease
  • Potential immunosuppression or weakening of the immune system
  • Increased severity of sunburns
  • Premature aging of the skin
As Earth’s protective layer thins, it is up to us to increase our vigilance in protecting our skin and our health.
  • Remember – there is no such thing as a “healthy” tan. Sunning yourself for long periods of time isn’t good for your skin or your health, especially when the ozone layer is depleted. Infants, children and fair skinned people are particularly vulnerable to UV radiation. But everyone should be careful.
  • Take extra precautions during the summer, as UV radiation is most intense during this period. All those “brief” minutes you are outside during the spring and summer can add up to a lot of radiation exposure.
  • Seek the shade and avoid prolonged exposure to direct sunlight during the peak hours of 10 am to 4 pm.
  • Find and wear sunglasses with 100% UV protection.
  • Wear a wide-brimmed hat when outside, especially during peak sun hours.
  • Use a good all-natural sunscreen that protects against both UVA and UVB rays and contains anitoxidant and anti-inflammatory ingredients.
  • Reapply sunscreen every 80 minutes when you are outdoors.
  • If you have been swimming or perspiring a lot, reapply more often.
  • Remember that even though we are more aware of our sun exposure in the summer time, you can still have significant sun exposure during the winter as well.
Scientists believe that most of the damage done to the ozone is caused by the use of certain chemicals mainly found in refrigeration and cooling systems. You can help prevent further ozone depletion by knowing the rules. Remember it is illegal to recharge refrigerators, freezers and home/vehicle air conditioners with CFCs. If you have a vehicle that was made prior to 1995, have your air conditioner served by a qualified technician and make sure the capture and recycle the used CFCs. And finally, don’t buy or use portable fire extinguishers that contain halons. What are you doing to protect your skin from the environment? Tell us in the comments. Sources: The Ozone Hole, BC Air Quality