Cases of skin cancer would quadruple by 2100 if ozone-depleting chemicals called CFCs were not restricted, according to European scientists. Even with current agreements to reduce production of CFCs, skin cancer cases will double, they said in the Nov. 21 issue of the journal Nature. A plan for phasing out CFC production was signed in Montreal in 1987, but there have been problems implementing the pact.
Skin cancer cases caused by ozone depletion will double in the United States under the Montreal agreement, the researchers found. But they would more than quadruple if the restrictions were not implemented. Skin cancer cases would grow only 2% if all production of ozone-depleting chemicals had been stopped at the end of 1995. Figures were just slightly lower for northwest Europe.