The ozone layer prevents much of the ultraviolet (UV) light from the sun from reaching the Earth. UV light, even with the ozone layer, can cause skin cancer, cataracts and other disorders. If the UV light were unfiltered, we wouldn't last very long. We're protected like this: Ultraviolet light strikes oxygen molecules in the stratosphere - the layer of the atm¬osphere located directly above the one we breathe, which includes a thin ozone layer - and splits them into two oxygen atoms. Each of these atoms, when it encounters another oxygen molecule, combines with the molecule to make ozone. The UV light also breaks the ozone into an oxygen molecule and an oxygen atom. This is called the ozone-oxygen cycle, and it protects the Earth from UV radiation by converting the radiation to heat.
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