American scientists from NCAR, the National Center for Atmospheric Research, have studied the effects of the ban on the emission of chlorofluorocarbons into the ozone layer.
Using computer simulations, the researchers analyzed the condition of the skin and eyes of US residents, provided that the Montreal Protocol had not been signed and chlorofluorocarbons were still produced and released into the ozone layer. The researchers concluded that the agreement prevented 443 million cases of skin cancer and 63 million cases of cataracts in people born in the United States by the end of this century. It also reduced the number of US skin cancer deaths by 2.3 million during this time.
The Montreal Protocol was signed in 1987 by the UN member states. In the late 1980s, politicians listened to scientists and signed a ban on the production of chemicals that deplete the ozone layer.
The ozone layer acts as a shield around the planet, keeping it in check from UV radiation. The radiation is harmful to the eyes and provokes the development of skin cancer and immunological disorders.
“This is very encouraging,” said study co-author Julia Lee-Taylor, study co-author. “But global environmental problems can be solved only by joining the efforts of countries.”
The research was published in the ACS journal “Chemistry of the Earth and Space”.