|1st November 1998
Letter to the Editor
G.P.O Box 105
Simon LEE, age 16
I am very disturbed to hear that our ozone layer is depleting with the use of CFCs. Heading towards a global crisis, the usage of this chemical must be banned worldwide; and people should put their act together by using a better alternative.
Chlorofluorocarbons or CFCs as we know of, is the ?iracle’ synthetic material that was used by everyday households in the past. Because of their useful properties, CFCs have been used as propellants, refrigerants, foams and solvents. After 50 years of fascination, in 1985, a large hole in the ozone layer located 20-30 kilometres above the surface of Antarctica was detected. The cause was due to the breakdown and reactions between chlorine atoms in CFCs and ozone molecules in the atmosphere. Scientists estimated that one chlorine atom can destroy up to 100,000 ozone molecules.
The effects for using CFCs have contributed to global warming and seas rising. The loss of ozone would allow harmful UV rays enter earth, and will eventually lead to skin and eye cancers, damage to resources and marine life and threat to human survival.
The Montreal Protocol has been established in 1987 with aims to eliminate Halons and ozone depleting substances by the end of 2010. Already, 161 countries have complied with this protocol, with other nations yet to sign. Although I strongly think that the elimination of CFCs is moving too slowly, it is a good step to bring everyone together to change our dying world.
If we are to control this problem, I believe that people, governments and industries must cooperate. We must persuade others not to use CFCs, and look towards other substitutes, such as hydrocarbon gases in aerosols.
What is more important: survival or enjoying the comforts from CFCs?
The damage we have done in the past 50 years has been enormous, and finally
we are re-thinking. While the ozone layer is recovering, we can? let this
happen to our precise planet again…