Ozone is a form of oxygen having the molecular form of O3. It is a
bluish, unstable gas with a pungent odour, found in two parts of the atmosphere:
the stratosphere and the troposphere.
The ozone layer: The stratosphere contains a layer in which
the concentration of ozone is greatest, the so called ozone layer. The layer
extends from about 12 to 40 km. It shields the Earth from ultraviolet
radiation's harmful health effects on humans and the environment. This layer is
being depleted by human emissions of chlorine- and bromine-containing compounds.
Ground-level ozone: At ground level (in the troposphere),
ozone is considered an air pollutant that can seriously affect the human
respiratory system. It is a chemical oxidant and a major component of
The ozone layer completely absorbs UVC radiation and attenuates UVB radiation
from the sun. It has no significant effect on solar UVA.
Ozone is also used in water treatment, see ozone-biofiltration