Ozone Damage / Waste Disposal
Name: R. L. Smith
What are the chemicals that harm atmospheric ozone? What waste
disposal activities produce these chemicals?
The guilty chemicals are the chlorofluorocarbons ("DuPont's Freon (TM)") such as
cfc-ll, cfc-12, and others, the halons (used to extinguish fires), methyl
bromide (a pesticide), carbon tetrachloride, methyl chloroform, etc. CFCs are
used in aerosol cans (mostly overseas) as propellants, to make polystyrene foam for
packing, car seats, etc., to clean circuit boards, as refrigerants in air
conditioners and chillers and refrigerators, etc. The chlorine and bromine
molecules eventually break off in the upper atmosphere and react to destroy
ozone. They are being replaced by less harmful substitutes.
Methyl bromide is
emitted when it is sprayed on fields. Halons are emitted when sprinkler
systems go off that have halons in them, such as those that protect computer
rooms. CFCs are released in waste disposal when cars and refrigerators are
broken up in junk yards, when polystyrene foam is broken up, etc. They are also
released by leaks and during servicing.
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Update: June 2012