Ozone changes driving cancer rates


Changes to the world’s ozone layer has resulted in significantly higher rates of skin cancer, a new international research study has concluded.

Changes to the ozone layer over the last four decades, largely driven by chlorofluorocarbons, has resulted in significantly higher risk of people suffering a variety of skin cancers.

The study shows that while melanoma accounts for less than five per cent of cancers, it has a particularly high mortality rate, with around 60,000 deaths worldwide each year.

The study shows these numbers would have been much worse, if the Montreal Protocol hadn't been implemented by the UN in 2008.

One of the lead authors, Professor Robyn Lucas from The Australian National University, said the study highlights the harm associated with increased exposure to high levels of UV radiation.

"It puts people at greater risk of developing skin cancers and other diseases," Professor Lucas said.

"Increased rates of skin cancer over the past 100 years show how susceptible some human populations would be to uncontrolled ozone depletion."

"For example, we know exposure to UV radiation accounts for up to 95 per cent of the risk of developing certain types of melanoma in light-skinned populations.

The full study can be found here