Magazine article USA TODAY

Ozone Depletion: Cause for Caution, Not Alarm

Magazine article USA TODAY

Ozone Depletion: Cause for Caution, Not Alarm

Article excerpt

While studies have associated ultraviolet-B light exposure with the formation of cataracts, it will take decades to determine whether changes in the ozone layer, which predominantly blocks UV-B from the Earth's surface, will have a measurable effect on the general population. "We continue to urge the use of UB-absorbent sunglasses, but no one should be concerned that they or their children will develop cataracts overnight because they stayed out in the sun unprotected," maintains Gerald A. Fishman, a spokesman for the American Academy of Ophthalmology and an authority on sunlight and its association with eye disease. "Even if higher UV-B exposure can be demonstrated to have an effect, cataract formation will continue to occur slowly and the loss of vision will be gradual."

However, there are a number of other ocular risks associated with unprotected exposure to bright sunlight and other sources of strong UV light. As with cataracts, most greatly are reduced by wearing proper protection.

* Burns. Excessive exposure to ultraviolet light without protective eye wear can cause a sudden, temporary, and painful burn to the surface of the eye. Ultraviolet-induced keratoconjunctivitis, sometimes called snow blindness, often is observed a few hours after skiing, sunbathing, or arc welding. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.