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Can We Stop the Destruction of the Ozone Layer? This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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      How much faith do you have in the cover of a hardcover book? Would you trust it to protect you from harmful ultraviolet light? Youhave to, because that is approximately how thick the ozone layer is. And despite worldwide effort to stopusing ozone-damaging chemicals called chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), they still gnaw at this invisible shield.These CFCs will continue their destruction until a way to eliminate them is discovered.

Though notechnology has been found to stop the CFCs already emitted, great strides have been made to slow thedamage, giving scientists time to ponder the bigger problem. Various substitutes for chlorofluorocarbonshave been tested, including hydrochloro-flurocarbons (HCFCs), which are less damaging. Even they,however, did not suit the 100 countries that pledged action in 1985 at the Inter-national Vienna Conventionfor the Protection of the Ozone Layer. In addition to proposing to stop use of HCFCs, the Vienna Conventionagreed to eliminate methyl bromide, an agricultural chemical 50 times more damaging than CFCs which hasa shorter life span.

Production of products containing hazardous chemicals has been slowedgreatly; aerosol propellants were banned in 1978 and DuPont, a major user of CFCs, has recentlyannounced they will discontinue manufacturing CFC-aided products. Vehicles emit more CFCs than all otherculprits combined, so attempts to popularize cars that run on substances other than gasoline, (such assunlight and even alcohol) are being made.

All these tactics could help prevent ozone loss, but away to patch the gap in the ozone layer must be found. Earth is being severely reprimanded for ourignorance about protecting its environment.




This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.




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