Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Why Does It Matter That The Ozone Layer Is Thinning?

There are three main problems that I believe will affect your health, due to the thinning of the ozone layer. One is more risk of skin cancer. The rate of skin cancer in the population has gone up so much that some experts have already called it an epidemic. It is expected to increase even more in the near future.

A second health problem that the ozone layer thinning will cause is with your eyes. People get more cataracts, which eventually require surgery, when exposed to more UV (Ultraviolet light).

The third one is one scientists are not satisfied with yet, but I think we had better deal with right away and not wait for them to catch up. The third one is genetics. Most changes in genes, or mutations, are caused by ultraviolet light. I think if we are exposed to more UV by a thinning ozone layer, we can expect more genetic mutations.

Most genetic mutations are not helpful. The people that have them die before birth, or don't live long enough to reproduce. Once in a while a genetic mutation is helpful. Some genetic changes let someone live, but have health problems for their entire life.

I believe that part of the indication of how civilized a culture is can be seen by how disabled persons are treated. If we are willing to commit resources to keeping disabled people alive and comfortable, then we are more civilized than another culture that kills disabled individuals at birth. That does not mean that I think we should aim to cause more individuals to become disabled.

I do not know exactly what would be required to protect our collective genetic material from UV caused mutation. I can make a guess at what might work. I don't believe women of child-bearing age should be unnecessarily exposed to UV light. The same would apply to girls who will become mothers. 

I have friends who were exposed to Agent Orange in Vietnam. They believe their children and grandchildren are getting cancer and have disabilities as a result of their exposure to Agent Orange. There is a lot of evidence to back them up in this idea. The same is true of Desert Shield veterans and their exposure to toxins. Their descendants are also suffering from their exposure.

Because of the information in the last paragraph, I am concerned that males may also need to be careful about UV exposure. It is probably less danger for men than women.

I do not care to encourage panic about excessive UV exposure due to the thinning of the ozone layer. We don't have any statics or studies to let us know what to think about this matter. I do think we need to exercise caution on such a serious matter. We also need to insist that this matter be studied. 

Part of the reason for my concern about this matter is information about frogs. They lay eggs in water that is exposed to a lot of UV light. Frogs are dying off all over the world. This is only what made me start thinking about UV and genetics, there is a lot more than will fit here. Humans protect our ova and sperm with our bodies and do not expose them the way frogs do. That is slightly reassuring. 

UV light, however, is listed as a major cause of genetic mutation in all species. That is not so reassuring. I really hate seeing young women with tans. It concerns me for the future of the human race. The current fad for tanning beds is not only a risk for the person using the tanning bed, (due to increased risk of skin cancer), but perhaps for their future children as well. The future health of the human species concerns us all.

No comments:

Post a Comment