The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has sensitised students in second cycle institutions in the Upper East Region on the depletion of the Ozone layer and how to help reduce the phenomenon.
The beneficiary students are expected to act as ambassadors in their respective schools and communities by educating other people on the need to avoid certain negative human activities that could deplete the ozone layer.
The students were selected from the Bolgatanga Girls Senior High, Navrongo Senior High, Bolgatanga Senior High, Bolgatanga Technical Institute, Notre Dame Seminary, and the Gowrie Senior High Technical schools.
Mr Emmanuel Osae Quansah, Head of the Ozone Department, EPA, told the students that the Ozone layer absorbed most of the harmful ultra violet radiation from the sun and indicated that any damage to the Ozone layer could affect the health of human beings.
He pointed out those human activities such as the use of chemicals like Chlorofluorocarbons carbons (CFCs) in refrigerators, blowing of agents in the foam industry as well as propellers in sprays, were some of the major causes that deplete the Ozone layer.
“Some chemicals like Carbon Tetrachloride (CTCs) and Hydrochloro fluoro Carbons (HFCs) are also causes of Ozone layer depletion.
Science reveals that Ozone depleting chemicals survive in the Troposphere for a long time. The CFC-11 can stay for more than 70 years while the CFC-12 stays for 102 years," he stated.
Mr.Quansah intimated that excessive doses of the Ultra Violet (UV) radiation from the sun could cause eye cataracts, slow blindness, suppress the immune system and increased the incidence of skin cancer.
Ozone layer depletion, he noted, also had negative effects on the environment, particularly on aquatic life, adding that 16 per cent reduction in Ozone could cause 6 million tonnes loss in fish production in a year.
Mr.Johnson Bennet Hasford, Consultant at the Ozone Department, EPA in Accra, urged the students to regularly check the control devices such as the thermostat in refrigerators to help conserve energy, and stressed the need for fridges to be kept about 30 centimeters away from the wall to helps conserve energy.
He also cautioned the students and the general public against using the condenser which is found at the back of the fridges for drying wet cloths, adding, you must also avoid the use of sharp objects in removing frozen items from your fridge as it could damage the evaporator; also delay switching on your fridge after power outages".
The Upper East Regional Director of the EPA, Mr.Asher Nkegbe, stated that it was necessary for students to be educated on how best to protect the environment as it directly has a positive impact on agricultural production and the existence of human life.
He impressed upon the students to endeavour to educate other people in their respective schools and communities to curtail acts that have the tendency of degrading the environment.
Earlier on the Regional Assistant Programme Officer of the EPA, Mr.Emmanuel Yeboah conducted a quiz for the students bothering on the Ozone layer depletion to test their ' level of knowledge and appreciation of the phenomenon.
The students lauded the efforts of the EPA for organizing the event and noted that they had been exposed with the in-depth understanding of the Ozone layer depletion phenomenon and pledged to advocate against activities that cause the depletion of the Ozone layer.