Can the depletion of the ozone layer affect health condition? Of course, exhaustion of protective shield has already created an alarming situation. Thus it has created adverse effects on the environment which indirectly and directly affects the lives on earth. Hence, the alarming situation has been recorded globally. Because of which it needs grave attention to save the survival of life on earth. In order to keep yourself updated with your health condition, go for preventive checkups.
Ozone Layer and its Role in Increasing Penetration of Ultraviolet Rays
Ozone is a natural gas found in the earth’s atmosphere which is composed of three atoms of oxygen. This gas resides in a layer and remains in the stratosphere and troposphere. The gas molecules in the stratosphere, act as a protective shield for all living things on the earth by absorbing the harmful ultraviolet rays emitted by the sun. Thus, the layer allows only a small amount of biologically-damaging UV rays to reach the earth surface.
UV rays trapped by the gas layer create a heat source and forms the atmospheric layer-stratosphere. Thus, the gas layer plays a vital role in balancing the temperature on earth. Apart from balancing the planet’s temperature, it balances the UV radiation exposure. Depletion of the gas layer means flaws in the protective shield which in result gives less protection from the harmful sun’s rays and augments exposure to ultraviolet radiation.
Massive emission of carbon dioxide and other air pollutants to the atmosphere has resulted in the partial destruction of the protective shield. The ozone-depleting substances discharged by different human activities have created holes in the ozone layer. Holes in the ozone layer increase the penetration of UV rays into the earth surface.
Indirect Impacts of Ozone Layer Depletion on Health
Alarming Rise in Global Warming:
The rising global warming is one of the serious problems faced by living beings on earth. Such continual degradation will soon make life impossible on the planet.
Affecting Life on Land:
Increased exposure to UV Rays is affecting plant growth. The physiological growth and developmental process of plants get negatively affected. It adversely impacts on the distribution of plant nutrients and metabolism. Thus, it adversely impacts on biogeochemical cycles, ecosystem, and animals.
Adverse Impacts on Marine Life:
Increased exposure to UV rays affects the growth of phytoplankton which is the main source of food for aquatic animals. Apart from affecting the major source of food, UV rays also affect the development phase of aquatic organisms which disturbs the aquatic environment.
Disturbing Biogeochemical Cycle:
Increased penetration of UV rays to the planet’s atmosphere disturbs the balance of greenhouse gases in the biosphere, i.e. carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, carbonyl sulfide, and ozone.
These consequences adversely impact on human health in various ways.
Direct Impact of Ozone Layer Depletion on Health
Direct exposure to harmful ultraviolet rays will sooner or later lead to various health problems:
Direct exposure to UV rays causes different skin diseases. The UV rays penetrate the skin and permanently damages the cells causing sunburn. The damaged cells lead to the formation of cancerous cells. Reports define 99% of non-melanoma skin cancer and 95% of melanoma cancer is caused due to excessive exposure to UV rays. Hence, UV rays are the major cause of developing melanoma, squamous cell or basal cells carcinomas.
Direct exposure to UV rays also causes tanning and develops skin wrinkles. This could affect a person irrespective to age causing premature aging. UV rays directly as well as indirectly cause DNA damage which results in mutagenesis modifying the skin cells. As a result, repeated exposure to UV radiation leads to various changes in the human skin. It includes fine lines, age spots, freckles, wrinkles, scaly red patches, tough and leathery skin, dry and rough skin and other discoloration on the skin surface.
Eyes are highly sensitive organs. Exposure to harmful UV rays causes eye damage including cataract problems, snow blindness or photokeratitis. The effects will cause conjunctivitis and may impair vision power in the worst case.
Weakened Immune System
The impact of UV exposure will also weaken or damage the immune system which in result will lessen the body’s internal power to fight back infections.
Preventive Health Checkups to Protect yourself From the Impact of Ozone Layer Depletion
- Examine your skin from head to toe in due intervals.
- If you find any type of rashes or uncommon thing on your skin, consult a dermatologist.
- Make sure to visit a dermatologist at least once in a year and conduct professional skin examination.
- If you are sensitive to medication and develop certain side effects, you need to take a note on this and consult a doctor. You might be asked to go for full-body health check-ups as well.
- Certain atmospheric conditions may make your skin more sensitive to the sun, avoid such situations.
- Follow the thumb rule of protecting your skin from harmful UV rays using sunscreen products of right PH level.
Consult a doctor and seek the right advice to stay protected from the adverse impacts of UV rays. By following the routine health checkup, you can avoid any future diseases. These health check-ups will help you to identify the symptoms of any disease. You can also go for preventive checkups that will help you to be aware of your health status. Thus, the right approach through preventive health check-ups will give you peace of mind as well.