Ozone Depletion Law and Legal Definition
Ozone Depletion is the reduction of the protective layer of ozone in the Stratosphere by chemical pollution. In the stratosphere, small amounts of ozone are constantly being made by the action of sunlight on oxygen. At the same time, natural processes are breaking down ozone. The total amount of ozone usually stays constant because its formation and destruction occur at about the same rate. Human activity has recently changed that natural balance. Certain manufactured substances (such as chlorofluorocarbons and hydro chlorofluorocarbons) can destroy stratospheric ozone much faster than it is formed.
Each year since the late 1970s, much of the protective layer of stratospheric ozone above Antarctica has disappeared during September, creating what is popularly known as the ozone hole. The Antarctic hole now measures about 9 million square miles, nearly the size of North America. With less ozone in the atmosphere, more ultraviolet radiation strikes earth, causing more skin cancer, eye damage, and possible harm to crops.