Cause for cheer

GOVERNMENTS the world over can do just that - pat themselves on their backs - for work well done. Dutch scientists, reviewing a year of the international ban on ozone- destroying chemicals have estimated that a total of 1.5 million possible skin cancer cases have been averted in the us alone on account of the ban.

The five-member team of researchers from Utrecht University used new computer models to conclude that global policy-makers helped avert a disaster by acting to prevent further erosion of the earth's protective ozone layer. The Dutch study hailed as a credible paper shows that the cooperation of political leaders can go a long way in mitigating global disasters. Said Michael Oppenheimer, chairperson of the global atmospheric programme for the Environmental Defense Fund, us, "This is the most accurate calculation to date of the potential health consequences of ozone depletion."

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