News Stories

Ozone Layer Thins, Childhood Melanoma Increases

Climate change has been causing an unexpectedly rapidthinning of the ozone layer worldwide, as melanoma,previously thought to be a disease of adults, has suddenlybegun increasing in children.

The decline of the ozone layer has been a source of humor ontalk radio programs and among politicians, who have advisedthose with environmental concerns to "get dark glasses."

Melanoma is among the most dangerous and aggressive cancersknown to man, and its primary cause is excessive exposure toultraviolet radiation in sunlight. Among adults, melanomarates have been explodingfor years, but now the cancer is also beginning to be seenin children.

Adult melanoma increased 80% in the 20 years from 1975 to1995, and rates of increase have been averaging 6% a yearsince. Childhood melanoma is still extremely rare, affectingonly 7 per million children, but the rate has increased over100% since 1982.

It had been hoped that the ozone layer was improving withthe worldwide ban on releasing fluorocarbons into theatmosphere, but now it appears that the continued decline isdue to increasing stratospheric clouds. These clouds arecaused by the dramatic change in temperature differencebetween the stratosphere and the lower atmosphere, and willnot decrease unless global warming is reversed.

This year, for three months from the end of November, therewere more clouds for longer periods than ever previouslyrecorded.

These thin clouds give no protection from ultraviolet light,and it is increased UV levels caused by the thinning ozonelayer that are doing the damgage. In animals--humansincluded--they suppress the immune system and cause skincancer. The United Nations Environment Program estimatesthat for every 1% decrease in the ozone layer, a 2% to 3%increase in skin cancer takes place.

Phytoplankton are at risk because of high UV exposure.Without them, the carbon load of the atmosphere willcontinue to increase, because they are the primary mechanismby which carbon is absorbed out of the atmosphere.

Other news sources have reported onchildhoodmelanoma and the ozone layer3604,1470944,00.html,decline.

This is an Unknowncountry.com exclusive. No other newssource in the world has reported on the fact that childhoodmelanoma is increasing as the ozone layer declines. KEEPTHIS IMPORTANT NEWS SOURCE ALIVE,subscribe!

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