10/3/11 (AEIN) Researchers from Japan and other countries have determined that the earth now has two equally large holes in its protective ozone layer, creating health concerns for additional regions. The researchers found that the arctic ozone layer has experienced depletion roughly equivalent to that of the antarctic layer, Radio Japan reported on Monday in its top headline.
One of the researchers warned that the layer's depletion in the arctic could eventually affect the environments of Russia and the countries of far northern Europe. The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) reported in April that ozone depletion at record levels had occurred in the arctic during the spring. The organization used weather balloons and surface observations to come to this conclusion.
The depletion of the ozone layer is caused by halons and CFCs, also known as ChloroFluoroCarbons. The loss of its protection increases the risk of skin cancer and eye cataracts both in humans and animals. Although most countries have taken steps to decrease the usage of CFCs in manufacturing, some products continue to contain them. Ozone depleting chemicals also remain in the atmosphere for decades.