Introduction The Ozone Layer is the layer of ozone (O3) that shields earth from harmful ultraviolet (UV) light. The Ozone layer absorbs 93-99% of the sun’s UV light which is harmful to the life on earth. Over 91% of the ozone in the earth’s atmosphere is in the stratosphere.
Ultraviolet radiation (UVR) is made up of three parts: UVA, UVB and UVC. UVR is known to cause sunburn, skin cancer and eye disease. It can also affect the body’s immune system.
Unlike other forms of solar radiation, such as light and heat, UVR cannot be seen or felt
Does New Zealand Get More UVR?
The Earth is closer to the sun during the summer.
Our smog free air means there is less pollution to block the UVR.
There has been a 10% decrease in ozone levels over New Zealand since the 1970’s.
UltraViolet Index The UV index is an international standard measurement of how strong the ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun is at a particular place on a particular day. It is a scale mainly used in daily forecasts aimed at the public. Its purpose is to help people to protect themselves from UV light, of which to much exposure causes sunburns, eye damage, skin aging, and skin cancer.
Health Problems The attention that has been given to the gap in the ozone layer has highlighted the increase in health problems involving the ozone layer, such as skin cancer. With less ozone in the atmosphere the amount of UVR rays will increase . This will increase the chances of sunburn, skin cancer and eye diseases. It is best to protect our skin during daylight saving months. Spending less time in the sun from 11am-4pm can reduce UVR exposure by up to 60%.
Needs to be done
Overall we New Zealanders need to get more protection over the ultraviolet rays.
We should take much care about how we are going to tackle this problem like putting on sunscreen, wearing a hat etc.
It needs extra care to protect the delicate skin of children
The goal is to raise awareness of the dangers of overexposure to the sun on days with intense UV radiation.