Today, on World Ozone Day, the U.N. is warning that the growing illegal trade in CFCs could seriously hamper efforts to end the consumption and production of the ozone-depleting substance. CFC smugglers are expected to turn their attention to large developing nations like India and China, where there are millions of users of CFC-based equipment. The U.N. Environment Program is working to train customs officials in developing countries to catch CFC smugglers. Meanwhile, scientists have compiled some of the strongest evidence yet that increased levels of dangerous ultraviolet (UV) radiation have begun to penetrate the atmosphere through a thinning ozone layer. In this month’s issue of the journal Science, researchers report that the amount of UV radiation reaching the ground in New Zealand has increased by 12 percent over the last decade.
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