The ozone layer "gains in density and for the first time there is a reversal in its loss of importance," according to the latest scientific observations, the spokesman for the environmental organization Friends of the Earth, Alejandro González, told EFE.
On the occasion of the commemoration, today, of the International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer, González explained that the diagnosis of this area of the Earth's stratosphere, which contains a relatively high concentration of this gas, is "quite clear" and It is a "small environmental success" brought about thanks to the work of both the scientific community and conservation NGOs.
For González, this joint work "has not only succeeded in restoring the process of depletion of the ozone layer," but has also avoided the emission of gases that, in part, "are responsible for the greenhouse effect." This day, promoted by the United Nations (UN) under the slogan "Ozone and the climate, recovered by a united world", this year recognizes the efforts that the organizations present in the Vienna Convention (1985) and the Montreal Protocol (1987) have dedicated to its restoration for the last three decades, as well as to the fight against climate change.
"The Montreal Treaty, beyond what we think, meant a before and after because the scientific consortium motivated pressure from environmental groups regarding the management of the ozonosphere," said González, who added that he said The urgency was manifested in a protocol "quite effective in the eradication of those fluids that were destroying it."
In his opinion, this agreement has been “much more effective” than the Kyoto Protocol (1997) or the recent Paris Agreement (2015), both aimed at reducing global warming, because since the Montreal Protocol, who controls the reduction of fluorocarbon gases together with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA, for its acronym in English) of the United States, have corroborated the recovery phase of the hole in the layer.
According to this expert, the main gases that "attack" this area of the atmosphere are "those that incorporate halogens such as chlorine or fluorine", hence the name of fluorocarbons or chlorofluorocarbons, which, being "relatively labile" They end up eliminating ozone in high places in the atmosphere, where it is very cold.
It has pointed out that, although "in essence" and from the consumer's point of view all products that may contain a harmful gas "are prohibited and outside the commercial circuits", there may be "some exceptional and risky circumstance" in some household appliances such as refrigerators that "use cold gases and compressors."
The spokesperson for Friends of the Earth recalled that the ozonosphere constitutes "a kind of natural barrier" that stops ultraviolet radiation from the sun, where the function of ozone is to retain it since it is "one of the most mutagenic and we have to protect as much as possible ”, that is,“ when it affects our skin, it penetrates the cells and introduces small variations in the genetic information ”.
"This can cause a greater incidence of skin cancer," stressed this environmentalist, who specifies that even under the protection of the ozone layer, "a part of that radiation continues to arrive" and therefore it is advisable to use cream solar, especially during the summer season.
Finally, González has encouraged citizens to reflect on how their consumption habits can harm the environment and to inform themselves about the components from electronic devices and appliances that may contain some of the gases that are harmful to the layer of ozone.
"He still has a long way to go for full recovery because it is part of a fairly long process that depends on atmospheric dynamics," concluded this specialist, who celebrates that "we are on the right track" that the Montreal Protocol has set and we must continue on that path.