Stratospheric Ozone Depletion and Its Effect on Skin Cancer Incidence

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Introduction

This term paper is situated in an area of specific health related and environmental concern: the human dimensions of global change. For about a decade now there has been growing scientific interest in the global environmental changes resulting from anthropogenic activity. However most of this research has focused on the scientific bases of environmental transformations with little attention to how human social responses are linked to global change. As a result, scientists and researchers alike are beginning to ask questions about the symbiotic relationship between human well being and physical change.

Abstract

This research compilation plans to use one environmental health component of the global change phenomena - ozone depletion and skin cancer - to advance and deepen your understanding of the relationships between human wellness and environmental change. This project should deepen understanding by developing a framework for conceptualizing environmental health policy issues. In this way the relationships between scientists, policy makers and the public will be explored theoretically as the interactions of science, the state, and society as a whole.

The Relationship of Skin Cancer Prevalence and the Increase in Ultraviolet-B Exposure due to Ozone Depletion

Ultraviolet-B radiation damages the human skin: Acute exposure causes sunburn and chronic exposure results in loss of elasticity and increased aging. Increased absorption of UV-B triggers a thickening of the superficial skin layers and an increase in skin pigmentation (both of which act to protect the skin against future sunburns). This protective mechanism however, also makes the skin more vulnerable to skin cancer. Strong evidence exists of a dose...

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Mahaney, Francis X., "Nocturnal Animals Help Shed Light on Human Melanoma," __Journal of the National Cancer Institute__, 87 (21): (1 November 1995). Available on the World Wide Web at http://wwwicic.nci.ni h.gov/jnci/iss8721/87-1584.html.

Roses, Daniel F., Stephen L. Gumport, Matthew N. Harris, and Alfred W. Kopf, __The Diagnosis and Management of Common Skin Cancers__ (Atlanta, Georgia: American Cancer Society, 1989), 89- 50M-No. 3373-PE.

Schein, O.D. et al., "Ocular and Dermatologic Health Effects of Ultraviolet Radiation Exposure from the Ozone Hole in Southern Chile," __American Journal of Public Health__, 85 (4): 546-550 (April 1995).

"Stat Bite: Trends in Melanoma Incidence," __Journal of the National Cancer Institute__, 87 (20): (1 November 1995). Available on the World Wide Web at http://wwwicic.nci.ni h.gov/jnci/iss8720/statbi20.jpg.

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