Plastic foam and refrigerators damage the ozone layer

Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) have many technical uses; as cooling media in e.g. refrigerators and air conditioners, in the manufacture of plastic foam and formerly as propellants in spray cans. Because they are chemically stable and non-poisonous CFCs have been considered ideal from the environmental viewpoint.

Mario Molina and Sherwood Rowland showed in 1974 that CFC gases are transported up to the ozone layer, where they meet such intense ultraviolet light that they decompose. The liberated chlorine atoms contribute to a depletion of the ozone layer.



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