skip navigation
El Nino
Great Lakes
Teacher Info


Ozone is similar to oxygen that we breathe.  Air contains oxygen molecules which are made up of two oxygen atoms combined together (O2).  

Ozone is a molecule made of three oxygen atoms combined together (O3).  Ozone is everywhere in our atmosphere - but in different amounts. High in the atmosphere, above where most airplanes fly, is the ozone layer. That's where most of the ozone is. Up there, it acts as a kind of "sunscreen", absorbing UV light and protecting life below from excessive amount of UV that could be harmful.

Down low in the atmosphere, where we live, there's much less ozone. but still, there can be too much of it at ground-level, and it can cause problems for us humans by affecting our health. 

Start the activity to learn more about ozone's effects.

What's in this section?

checkmarkGet Info

  • Describe where the ozone layer is.
  • Explain natural formation of ozone.
  • Explain how CFCs destroy ozone.


checkmarkGather Data

  • Interpret graphs of ultraviolet radiation, ozone concentration, and chlorine concentration.
  • Explain why artificial chemicals are more destructive to ozone than are naturally occurring chemicals.
  • Describe ozone's harmful effects at ground level.


  • Describe the economic effects on people affected by ozone depletion.
  • Describe economic effects of banning CFCs.
  • Justify international ozone-related laws.


  • Click on the link above to participate in some additional activities.


  • Click on “Links Only” to access a list of all the external sites used in this activity.