World Ozone Day - 16 September, 2020

Posted on : Wednesday, 16 September 2020

Today is World Ozone Day. 


This year, we celebrate 35 years of work to protect the global ozone layer, starting with the Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer in 1985. 


This stratospheric layer shields Earth from most of the sun's harmful ultraviolet radiation and protects all living things, creating the conditions in which life can survive and thrive. 


While sunlight is essential for life on Earth, ultraviolet radiation is very harmful - the ozone layer helps to moderate the levels of this radiation reaching the surface, allowing plants and animals to get the energy they need safely. 


In the late 1970s, scientists discovered that humanity was damaging this protective shield and raised the alarm. 


A hole was being formed in the ozone, which posed a significant risk to all life on Earth, threatening to increase injury to skin, eyes, and the immune system, and damaging ecosystems. 


The scientists found that it was being caused by the use of various ozone-depleting substances (ODSs) such as the gas halon, which was commonly used in fire extinguishers before being banned in 1995. 


The Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer laid out a plan in 1987 for the phasing out of these materials, which was adopted and ratified by 198 countries - this was the first UN treaty to be universally ratified. 


Under this Protocol, governments, scientists, and industry are working together to cut out 99 per cent of all ozone-depleting substances, and the ozone layer is healing - it is expected to return to pre-1980 values by mid-century. 


The Fire Protection Industry (ODS & SGG) Board continues to do its part to protect the Earth's ozone layer by administering the fire protection industry permit scheme on behalf of the Australian Government. 


Fire protection professionals who carry an Extinguishing Agent Handling Licence, Extinguishing Agent Trading Authorisation, or Halon Special Permit under this permit scheme are actively contributing to a reduction in emissions and healthier ozone. 


The result will be a healthier, more sustainable planet. 


Visit here to see some of the tools being provided by the UN to support World Ozone Day.