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The Ozone Paradox

Many people have a negative connotation when it comes to ozone, especially during the last century. However, we often forget that without ozone, life on Earth would not be possible. In addition, it’s very useful in our everyday lives.

Without Ozone – No Life Beyond Water

A couple of weeks ago, I watched a very interesting documentary on National Geographic. The documentary, Earth: Making of a planet, shows the development of the Earth and the life on our planet.

I was very impressed with the role the ozone plays during the creation of life. Most people know that ozone is present in the stratosphere and functions as a shield against harmful ultraviolet radiation from the sun. However, what surprised me the most was that life is possible under water, even without ozone. Thus, for the transition from life under water to land, the protective ozone layer was vital.

Ozone, Consequence, Not Cause of Pollution

Ozone is particularly known for making life on Earth difficult due to the creation of smog. Lately, the occurrence of smog has been covered in the news on a regular basis. The pollution, due to industry and transport, causes harmful ozone concentrations in the air. However, it is important to know that ozone is the consequence, and not the cause of the pollution.

Eventually, ozone (O3) is nothing else than an activated form of oxygen and consists of three oxygen atoms instead of two. Essentially, it is a natural air cleaner. Without it, life on Earth would not be possible.

Ozone as Air Cleaner

Ozone has many positive uses in our daily lives. It is a powerful oxidising gas with cleaning and disinfecting properties. These qualities are used to clean and disinfect air and remove odour. The strong oxidising (burning) properties are, for example, used to demolish smoky air, with the end result leaving only the oxygen.

After all, ozone is a gas with which we need to be careful, but which can also be very useful for different applications.

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