|MadSci Network: Environment/Ecology|
The efforts to save the ozone layer have focused on the phasing out of a group of chemicals commonly called chlorofluorocarbons that have been shown to remove ozone from the upper layers of the atmosphere. These chemicals are made up of carbon and chlorine or fluorine or both. The chemicals in this group that interact with ozone have been placed on lists by USEPA and are being phased out. These chemicals have been used in three main areas: refrigeration, cleaning, and spray cans. Refrigeration also includes air conditioning. The main uses are in homes, buildings, and cars. All new cars no longer contain the ozone harming chemicals. New air conditioning units can not use these chemicals. Cleaning includes dry cleaning, spot cleaning, and parts (grease) cleaning. Again, these chemicals are being phased out. There are new chemicals that take the place of the ozone harmful chemicals. The main replacement for these chemicals are also compounds that contain carbon, chlorine, and/or fluorine. These compounds have been shown to not be harmful to the ozone layer. This last point is important. Just because a chemical contains carbon and chlorine and/or fluorine does not mean it harms the ozone layer. Each chemical must be tested individually. If you go to the following website and look under ozone depletion, you can get a bunch of information. http://www.epa.gov/epahome/ browse.htm
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