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400M Indians Endangered By Ozone Depletion

Scientists studying satellite data have discovered an immense wintertime pool of pollution over the northern Indian state of Bihar. The discovery was made by researchers analyzing data collected by the Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer aboard NASA's Terra satellite. (Jan. 31) Image credit: American Geophysical Union.
New Delhi (UPI) Feb 1, 2005
Indian and U.S. scientists have reported that a dangerously declining ozone layer over northern India threatens the lives of 400 million people.

A joint study by scientists of the Indian Institute of Technology at Kanpur and George Mason University in Virginia assessed the trend of ozone depletion over the Indian subcontinent using satellite and limited ground observations, the Press Trust of India reported Tuesday.

The rate of ozone decline was found to be higher in recent years in the valley of the Ganges River than in other parts of India, said Ramesh Singh, one of the authors of the study.

"This declining trend is a serious threat, especially to 400 million people who live in the basin," the authors reported in a paper soon to appear in the international Journal of Remote Sensing. Further investigation is needed to determine the reasons for the depletion, th e report states.

Ozone is an important atmospheric trace gas that blocks harmful ultraviolet radiation from the sun. Manmade chemicals like chlorine destroy it. Decreased ozone has been linked to increases in skin cancer rates.

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Ground-Level Ozone Linked To Increased Mortality
Baltimore MD (SPX) Nov 17, 2004
Changes in ground-level ozone were significantly associated with an increase in deaths in many U.S. cities, according to a nationwide study conducted by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the Yale University School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.

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