The ozone layer protects all living things on Earth by absorbing some of the harmful UV rays of the sun. UV radiation can cause skin cancer and eye damage.
The ozone layer is located 30 miles above the Earth's surface, and it is a natural gas that can be found in the troposphere and the stratosphere. The ozone in the troposphere is bad because it pollutes the air, causing smog, which can cause a variety of illnesses. Life on Earth could not exist if the protective ozone layer were not in place, which is why many steps are taken to prevent ozone depletion.
Chloroflourocarbons (CFCs) are a group of gasses that cause a great deal of damage to the ozone. These CFCs can be found in refrigerators, home air conditioning systems and many types of fire extinguishers. In the 1970s, many aerosol cans contained CFCs, but they have since been replaced with propellants. The ozone layer acts in the same way that sunscreen does. An excessive amount of UV rays can cause sunburn and even blindness. UV rays can even travel through water, which can kill animals and plants that live in the oceans.
Many steps are taken across the globe to prevent the loss of the ozone layer, including using ozone-friendly refrigerants and eliminating other chemicals in the atmosphere that can damage the ozone.