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Ozone Hole Dousing Santiago With UV Radiation October 14, 2011
Ozone hold graphic
Bulge in Antarctic ozone hole extending into South America during late September.
The ozone hole over Antarctica has stretched deeper into South America over recent weeks, causing dangerous levels of ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun to reach the ground around the Chilean capital of Santiago.

That city’s UV index reached an 8 three weeks ago — the highest recorded for that time of year since 2008, according to Chile’s national cancer agency CONAC.

Such high levels usually occur there during December, the start of the summer season and when the sun is higher in the sky.

Santiago also registered a 10 percent increase in UV radiation last January, with the index sometimes soaring above the very dangerous level of 12.

CONAC says the last decade has seen a sharp increase in the number of people with skin cancer, which can be directly linked to higher UV levels.

Graphic: Ozone Hole Watch