Today, September 16 is observed as the United Nation’s International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer. It was proclaimed in the year 1994 by the UN General Assembly. On this day in the year, 1987 this day was an agreement called the Montreal Protocol was signed by 24 countries and the European Economic Community. This agreement was for the protection of the stratospheric ozone layer, decrease the use of chloro-fluoro carbons (CFCs) and other Ozone depleting chemicals (ODCs). In the year 1985 in Vienna, 43 countries participated in the Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer, where they agreed to work towards understanding and curbing human activities which affect the Ozone layer. In the same year, a hole in the ozone layer was found over Antartica.
Currently, according to reports, the ozone has increased in the recent years. According to science journals and research, it has been found that the ozone hole has shrunk by a substantial amount. In certain reports, it has been said that the depletion was at its highest in the early 1990’s but then decreased in the recent years. Yet, there is a need to curb man-made gases which CFC gases which deplete the layer, since the recovery of it will be very slow. Ozone layer made of the O3 gas is Earth’s warrior against the Sun which continuously bombards the earth’s atmosphere with harmful UV radiation. Here are a few ways in which we as individuals can contribute towards its protection:
1. By limiting automobile driving, as the emissions result in smog which gradually becomes the culprit in the deterioration and depletion of the ozone layer.
2. By using eco-friendly household cleaning products, as these cleansing agents consist of toxic chemicals that deplete the ozone layer.
3. By avoiding the use of pesticides and instead use natural methods and remedies like manual weeding or mowing.
4. Scientists and ministry making stringent regulations for rocket launches, though currently, it has not affected much. Yet, as scientific exploration become a regular norm, by-products released during the launches are compounds which destroy the ozone layer. The worse fact is that these are expelled by the rockets near the stratosphere which is very near to the ozone layer.
5. A government ban on the use of dangerous nitrous oxide, as it is one of the most harmful compounds to affect the ozone layer, added to the fact that it was not included in the Montreal protocol.