Even minor problems of ozone depletion can have major effects. Every time even a small amount of the ozone layer is lost, more ultraviolet light from the sun can reach the Earth.
Every time 1% of the ozone layer is depleted, 2% more UV-B is able
to reach the surface of the planet. UV-B increase is one of the most harmful consequences of ozone depletion because it can cause skin cancer.
The increased cancer levels caused by exposure to this ultraviolet light could be enormous. The EPA estimates that 60 million Americans born by the year 2075 will get skin cancer because of ozone depletion. About one million of these people will die.
In addition to cancer, some research shows that a decreased ozone layer will
increase rates of malaria and other infectious diseases. According to the EPA, 17 million more cases of cataracts can also be expected.
The environment will also be negatively affected by ozone depletion. The life cycles of plants will change, disrupting the food chain. Effects on animals will also be severe, and are very difficult to foresee.
Oceans will be hit hard as well. The most basic microscopic organisms such as plankton may not be able to survive. If
that happened, it would mean that all of the other animals that are above plankton in the food chain would also die out. Other ecosystems such as forests and deserts will also be harmed.
The planet's climate could also be affected by depletion of the ozone layer. Wind patterns could change, resulting in climatic changes throughout the world.