Scientists have realized for months that the earth's protective ozone layer shrinks over the U. S. during winter and spring, but on Oct. 22 came even more sobering news. An international panel of researchers announced that there has also been an ozone decline in summer of about 3% since 1979. Since the stratospheric ozone layer helps screen out damaging ultraviolet rays from the sun, the loss of ozone in summer--when UV light is the strongest--could lead to thousands of additional cases of skin cancer.
Last year, industrial nations agreed to stop using ozone-depleting chlorofluorocarbons by 2000. But the new findings are speeding things up. Du Pont said it would stop selling the chemicals to industrialized countries by 1996.