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Human Health

Ozone's unique physical properties allow the ozone layer to act as our planet's sunscreen, providing an invisible filter to help protect all life forms from the Sun's damaging ultraviolet (UV) rays. Most incoming UV radiation is absorbed by ozone and prevented from reaching the Earth's surface. Without the protective effect of ozone, life on Earth would not have evolved the way it has.

The ozone layer protects us from the harmful effects of certain wavelengths of ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the Sun. The danger to humans from UV radiation comes mainly from the UV-B range of the spectrum, although UV-A poses some risk if exposure is long enough. UV radiation is harmful to the eyes, can damage the immune system and over time can lead to the development of skin cancers. If ozone in the stratosphere is destroyed, more UV radiation will reach the Earth's surface, and incidences of these health effects will increase.