The ozone layer protects life on Earth by absorbing the ultraviolet radiations generated by the Sun and thus protects us from cancer, sunburns, and damaged eyesight.
Ozone is a molecule comprised of three atoms of oxygen and is present in our stratosphere (10–40 km or 6.2–24.9 miles above us). When the harmful ultraviolet radiations from the Sun reach this zone of our atmosphere, the ozone molecules absorb them. This causes the ozone molecule to break into an oxygen molecule and a free oxygen atom. The free oxygen atom readily combines with an oxygen molecule and regenerates the ozone molecule. This constant cycle ensures that the ozone continues to protect us against the ultraviolet radiations.
Recently, it has been found that a number of chemicals we are using, including the refrigerants, are causing a reduction in the amount of ozone in the stratosphere, thus putting the human beings at risk. Efforts are being made worldwide to protect the ozone layer and to ensure that this protective shield continues to protect us.