how does ozone layer protect us from harmful effects of the environment?
Ozone layer depletion increases the amount of ultraviolet radiation and the risk of health effects for all life on earth.
- Increased levels of UV radiation have been linked to skin cancer, cataracts and weakened immune systems in humans.
- In nature, increased UV radiation is responsible for crop failures and disruption of the ocean's food chain.
- Physiological and developmental processes of plants are affected by UVB radiation, even by the amount of UVB in present-day sunlight.
- Solar UVB radiation has been found to cause damage to early developmental stages of fish, shrimp, crab, amphibians and other animals. The most severe effects are decreased reproductive capacity and impaired larval development.
- Increases in solar UV radiation could affect terrestrial and aquatic biogeochemical cycles, thus altering both sources and sinks of greenhouse and chemically-important trace gases.
- Synthetic polymers, naturally occurring biopolymers, as well as some other materials of commercial interest are adversely affected by solar UV radiation.