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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Ozone Hole Adds to Moscow Summer Woe

A comparatively big ozone hole now covers approximately one-third of the territory of the Russian Federation, lowering the concentration of stratospheric ozone by about 12 percent in the Moscow region.

Ozone holes, a term specifying the thinning of the layer of stratospheric ozone, are not that rare, though this particular one is very unusual for Russia, because of its occurrence in summer.

According to Anatoly Yakovlev, of the Federal Hydro-Meteorological and Environmental Monitoring Service, until now the holes would occur in Russia only during the change from winter to spring. But summer, with its long daylight hours, the sun at its zenith and, as happened last week, very dry, clear weather, can turn an ozone hole into a more serious threat to a human health, he said.

Lower levels of ozone increase the levels of ultraviolet radiation from the sun. Studies conducted by the World Health Organization confirm that UV radiation causes a whole range of diseases from skin cancer to a weakening of the immune system, which may trigger all kinds of infections.