Oxygen in the atmosphere is also known as diatomic oxygen; oxygen actually exists as two atoms
bonded together. Diatomic oxygen is stable. Ozone consists of three oxygen atoms bonded
together, which makes it highly unstable and very reactive. The ozone layer absorbs the harmful
UV rays from the sun so that they do not reach the earth. Ozone is broken down to diatomic
oxygen and a free oxygen atom when highly reactive chemicals, such as CFCs, are present in the
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