Sindh Environmental Protection Agency launches one-day awareness drive

Karachi, September 16, 2013 (PPI-OT): On the occasion of World Ozone Day today (on 16th September) Environmental Protection Agency, Government of Sindh (EPA Sindh) has launched a one-day awareness campaign through cable network to make people aware on the role of Ozone layer for protecting us from direct contact of ultraviolet rays of Sun that comes after being sieved from it which otherwise can cause skin cancer in those who if receive them un-sieved apart from causing huge damage to natural environment.

According to details of this campaign, in first phase of this 24-hour campaign small and simple messages on the significance of Ozone layer to our health, environment and other living beings are being disseminated through Cable TV for people of Karachi. After examining the success of this campaign, it will be taken to whole province next time to let people know about the sensitivity and importance of this issue. The campaign will end tonight at 12.00 pm after being run for 24 hours.

It may be pointed out that World Ozone Day 2013 is being observed today (on 16th September) to invite the attention of global fraternity towards fast depleting ozone layer. It was decided by United Nations Environment Program in 1994 to observe this day to sensitize the world community on significance of this issue.

Since then it is being observed every year on 16th September and various awareness activities are organized by government, non-governmental, non-profit and private organizations to mark this day. The theme of World Ozone Day 2013 is “A healthy atmosphere, the Future We Want”.

The ozone layer is vital to human, animal, and plant life on the Earth’s surface. Yet in the 1980s it was discovered that the layer was vulnerable to damage by emissions into the atmosphere of particular industrial chemicals, of which the most important was the family of chlorofluorocarbons.

The negotiation of the international treaty—the Montreal Protocol—designed to limit, and ultimately end, the production and use of these chemicals took place under the aegis of the United Nations Environment Programme.
The regime established by the Montreal Protocol has proved highly effective in limiting damage to the ozone layer. Ozone depletion has reached record levels as a result of the last seventy years of production and use of ozone-damaging chemicals.

However, the damage is now nearing its peak and it is predicted that the ozone layer will start to recover in the next few years; it should be restored to full health by the middle of the next century.

This process of recovery can be accelerated by actions taken by organizations and individuals. Many offices throughout the world contain equipment, including refrigerators, air-conditioning units and fire extinguishers, which contain ozone depleting substances. Ensuring that these appliances do not leak, and are adequately serviced or replaced with units that do not contain such substances, will speed up the recovery of the ozone layer.

Since substitutes now exist for virtually all uses of CFCs and most other ozone-depleting substances, this is a relatively easily achievable goal. Indeed, in many instances new units containing CFC substitutes are more efficient (for example in energy use) than the old units they replace, resulting in additional benefits.

What is the ozone layer?

The thin layer of ozone high in the Earth’s atmosphere plays a crucial role in protecting life on the planet’s surface from harmful ultraviolet radiation emanating from the sun. In the 1980s it was discovered that this ozone layer was vulnerable to damage from chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and other industrial chemicals.

Stable, non-toxic and highly versatile, CFCs have been employed for a wide variety of uses, including aerosol propellants, refrigerants and air-conditioning fluids, solvents and foam-blowing agents. Halons, i.e. related compounds containing bromine rather than chlorine, have been used as fire extinguishers.

What are ozone treaties?

The United Nations, through UNEP, was instrumental in negotiating the 1985 Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer, and the subsequent 1987 Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer.

These international treaties, which have now achieved almost universal adherence, applied quantitative controls to the production and consumption of ozone-depleting substances (ODS).

What progress is being made on the implementation of these treaties?

These controls have been made steadily stricter as the scientific evidence for ozone depletion has strengthened, and as industry has succeeded in developing non-ozone depleting substitutes. In the industrialized world, total phase out of most categories of ODS was achieved by the end of 1995. Other ODS, including the CFC substitutes hydro chlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), are due to be phased out at future dates.

For more information, contact:
Mr. Syed Muhammad Yahya
Deputy Director (Lab)
Sindh Environmental Protection Agency
EPA-Complex, Plot # Street # 2/1,
Sector # 23, Korangi Industrial Area,
Phone: +92-21-5065946
Fax: +92-21-5065940

The post Sindh Environmental Protection Agency launches one-day awareness drive appeared first on AsiaNet-Pakistan.

The post Sindh Environmental Protection Agency launches one-day awareness drive appeared first on AsiaNet-Pakistan.