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Name: R. L. Smith
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Question:
What are the chemicals that harm atmospheric ozone? What waste disposal activities produce these chemicals?



Replies:
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.

Marc Fernau



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