It is found in the atmosphere in minute quantities; especially, after a thunderstorm or around electrical equipment, where it is a powerful oxidizing agent, and it is biologically corrosive.
In the upper atmosphere, it absorbs ultraviolet rays and forms a protective layer against excess ultraviolet radiation, thereby preventing such rays from reaching the surface of the earth.
Ozone is used for bleaching, sterilizing water, purification of drinking water, and as an oxidizing agent.
The ozone hole has grown in size and annual length of existence over the past decades.
Some experts claim that the manufacture of various chemicals; such as, chlorofluorocarbons used as propellants in aerosol sprays, and the effects of high-flying jet aircraft are destroying this protective layer and allowing excessive amounts of ultraviolet radiation to penetrate the earth's atmosphere; therefore, subjecting humans to increased dangers of skin cancer and other health problems.
It involves headaches, chest pains, itchy eyes, and sleepiness and is more prevalent early in the year and occurs more often over the Pacific Ocean.
They are generally stable in the troposphere and only degrade under intense ultraviolet light in the stratosphere, at which time they release chlorine or bromine atoms, which in turn deplete the ozone.
2. The layer of the upper atmosphere, from 15 to 50 kilometers (10 to 30 miles) above the earth's surface, where most atmospheric ozone collects, absorbing harmful ultraviolet radiation from the sun.
In the 1980's it was realized that industrial pollutants such as CFC's were damaging the ozone layer and that holes had appeared in it, especially over the Antarctic.
CFC refers to a gas containing carbon, hydrogen, chlorine, and fluorine; some forms of which are said to damage the ozone layer in the earth's atmosphere.