The sun is a star at the centre of our solar system and is thought to be around 4.5 billion years. It has a diameter of around 865,000 miles (1.4 million km), which is 109 times larger than the Earth. The sun is actually white but the Earth’s atmosphere makes it appear yellow. At the moment, the sun is in the middle of its main sequence phase, meaning is producing all its energy. No wonder the current effect from the sun appears to be very harsh to the human skin and completely unbearable.
In the past, the sun was a major contribution of vitamin D to the human body. Advice was that, the rays from the early morning sun was one that human beings should best spend time within, but over the years, this fact has shifted from its positivity to a rather negative one. Some years ago, the elderly boasted mostly of how ice could fall from the skies during their early ages and upon picking one to eat, it easily melted on the tongue. To them, this was an unforgettable experience which has faded over the years.
The ozone layer which is found in the atmosphere is responsible for absorbing harmful ultraviolet radiations of the sun and thus prevents these radiations from entering the Earth’s surface. However, various factors have led to the depletion and damage of this protective layer. These factors include substances found in vehicular emissions, by-products of industrial processes, aerosols and refrigerants. In other words, our very own industrial activities and fumes from vehicles which gets exposed to the atmosphere with time has contributed to the depletion of the ozone layer.
The depletion of the ozone layer allows entering of Ultraviolet rays from the sun which is associated with a number of health related and environmental issues. The major impacts on human beings include; Skin cancer (malignant melanoma), Heat rashes, Eye damage, Damage to the immune system and Aging of the skin. During harsh weather conditions like the current situation here in Ghana, it is very necessary for one to protect his or skin from direct sun rays. In order to keep the skin healthy from such conditions, one should wear protective clothing like long sleeved shirts or trousers and wear sunglasses wherever possible, Drink lots of water as much as possible to prevent dehydration, use sunscreen as it protects against Ultraviolet rays and use umbrellas. Taking cold bath can also help cool down the body’s temperature from excess heat.
To help prevent the ozone layer from further depletion, unnecessary bush burning should be halted, fumes from industrial activities should be managed properly and there should be proper maintenance of vehicles to prevent emission of harmful fumes from exhaust pipes.
NAME: HAYFORD COMFORT SWEETY
GHANA INSTITUTE OF JOURNALISM.