Thursday, January 05, 2006

More on the Ozone

Taken from Junk Science:

What about the all-important "solar shield" we hear so much about having to protect so that it will preserve us from UV bombardment? Well, not much, actually. UVA (ultraviolet radiation in the 320-400 nanometer [nm] band), which is implicated in deep skin DNA changes thought responsible for melanomas, is not blocked by ozone at all. [Note: De Fabo, et al, claim the reverse to be true for the cause of melanoma, at least in a mouse model - see: Ultraviolet B but not Ultraviolet A Radiation Initiates Melanoma. Meanwhile: Melanoma risk only partially associated with exposure to UVB from sunlight - The report in the Dec. 21 [2005] issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute also indicates that only nonmalignant skin cancers (basal and squamous cell carcinoma) are strongly associated with exposure to UVB radiation. (University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center)] UVB (270-320nm), which causes sunburn, is both blocked by ozone (O3) and, if allowed to penetrate the atmosphere, creates ozone lower in the atmosphere where it can be an irritant in photochemical smog - thick clouds also block UVB. UVC (<270nm),>2), in addition to ozone (O3). Regardless, life flourishes in the tropics, where stratospheric ozone levels are never high and where solar radiation bombardment is roughly 1,000 times higher than that received in the region of the Antarctic Ozone Anomaly.

What's it all mean? Basically, sunburn is the last thing Ozone Al's Patagonian sheep and backyard rabbits would have to worry about if transported under the so-called "ozone hole" in the South Pole's first light of spring. And, unless you intend sunbathing in the Antarctic in September, this seasonal event will have no effect on you at all.

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