Illustration showing damage to stratospheric ozone by chloroflurocarbons.

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Damage to stratospheric ozone is caused principally by Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs). They interact with ozone in the presence of ultraviolet light and destroy ozone's filtering capacity. CFCs are found in many styrofoam containers, older air-conditioning systems, and fire extinguishers. CFCs drift upward into the stratosphere and break down the ozone layer, allowing higher levels of harmful ultraviolet rays to penetrate the earth's surface.