Creighton Preparatory School
Keeping Ozone in the Fly-Zone by
Honors Chemistry Period 4b
Everybody knows about oxygen, O2, the gas that most every living creature needs to survive. But I’m not very interested in talking about that. I believe that there is an allotrope in need of more attention. This is an allotrope of oxygen called ozone. Its chemical formula is O3. It is formed when a molecule of oxygen is hit by ultraviolet radiation (UV), which disassociates the oxygen molecule into separate atoms. These atoms then combine with another molecule of oxygen making ozone. (Kunstmaan 1) Ozone is vitally important to the atmosphere and therefore, to us people down on earth’s surface. But we are depleting the amount of it that we still have with chlorofluorocarbons and other harmful gases. It blocks harmful UV radiation in the atmosphere from reaching the surface and keeps us safe from the effects of radiation exposure such as skin cancer, cataracts, sun burnt eyes, and possibly the lowering of our immune system, but it also contributes to the greenhouse gas effect and affects health if it sinks down too low to the surface. (Kimbrough 8) Having ozone is like playing with fire, we need it so badly to protect us from UV rays but it can cause damaging effects such as lowering our life expectancy if we breath is directly.
In the 1920’s, chlorofluorocarbons started to be used in refrigeration. Unfortunately this was the beginning of a large problem in the atmosphere. When these Chlorofluorocarbons were released into the air they rose up and were contacted by UV radiation. The radiation split the molecules into separate atoms. One of which was chlorine. Chlorine reacts with ozone to form oxygen gas, O2,...
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...diation, so its role in the greenhouse cause effect isn’t too large of a problem.
Ozone is a live giving molecule that we are destroying mindlessly all across the world. The release of chemicals into the environment such as carbon dioxide and chlorofluorocarbons adds up and causes gigantic amounts of ozone to be depleted. With the use of Chlorofluorocarbons coming to a stop, and the public becoming more aware of pollution, I believe that ozone will be able to continue to be are shield from the dangers of the sun.
Tentative Bibliography http://ozone.meteo.be/meteo/view/en/1547746-Formation+of+ozone.html http://www.acs.org/content/acs/en/education/resources/highschool/chemmatters/past-issues/archive-2012-2013/ozone-layer-our-global-sunscreen.html