A resurgence in production of gases that damage the atmosphere's ozone layer--Earth's shield against ultraviolet radiation--could result in more than 1 million skin cancer cases in the next 40 years, the Environmental Defense Fund warns.
The fragile layer of ozone 10 to 30 miles high is threatened by an upswing in global production of the gases, known as chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), despite legislation in the United States banning their use in aerosol sprays, Daniel Dudek, author of the Environmental De fense Fund report, said last week.
"The production of some types of CFCs hit a peak in 1974, then dropped," he said. "Now we are seeing a resurgence since about 1980 or 1982."
Nearly all refrigerators and air conditioning systems use chlorofluorocarbons, and the gases are used in the manufacture of certain foams and for other industrial purposes.