How Can People Help Save the Ozone Layer?

People can help stop the depletion of the ozone layer by not buying or using portable fire extinguishers that contain halons. People can also carpool, use public transportation, make sure no gas spills when handling fuel and filling up and make sure household and industrial chemicals are sealed after use.

It is also important not to recharge old refrigerators, which is illegal, because old freezers and air conditioners found in homes or vehicles may contain chlorofluorocarbons that could leak. All vehicles made after 1995 do not use chlorofluorocarbons in their air conditioners. If someone has a vehicle that uses chlorofluorocarbons, it is important to have it serviced by a qualified technician to make sure the chlorofluorocarbons are recaptured and recycled. It is also important to do this if the air conditioner is never used or the vehicle is about to be scrapped. Old refrigerators and home air conditioners should be treated with the same care.

Chlorofluorocarbons are the greatest contributor to ozone depletion, and were outlawed in the 1990 Clean Air Act. Chlorofluorocarbons were once used in air conditioning and as propellants in household items such as hairspray.

The ozone layer lies the stratosphere, a layer of the atmosphere found 9 to 31 miles above the Earth. It filters ultraviolet rays from the sun, which can lead to cataracts and skin cancer.