February 28, 2007
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Global Climate Change Digest
A Guide to Information on Greenhouse Gases and Ozone Depletion
Published July 1988 through June 1999
FROM VOLUME 1, NUMBER 1, JULY 1988
THE SEARCH FOR CFC SUBSTITUTES
Responding to the passage last
September of the Montreal Protocol to restrict the use and production of CFCs,
chlorofluorocarbon producers have launched an intense search for more acceptable
alternatives. Shortly after the United States Senate ratification of the
Protocol and the release of the Ozone Trends Panel report in March, E.I. DuPont
de Nemours, one of the world's largest CFC producers, called for a total
phase-out of fully halogenated chlorofluorocarbons; some other large
manufacturers now support drastic reductions also. In April the Food Packaging
Institute announced a voluntary termination of the use of CFCs in their
disposable foam products. Thirteen international CFC producers have set up a
multimillion-dollar cooperative program of inhalation toxicity tests, in an
unprecedented collaboration to develop substitutes within the time frame
required by the Protocol. Allied-Signal, another large U.S. firm, will cooperate
with Atochem of France to find substitutes. The following articles deal
primarily with the effects of a phase-out on CFC users and the search for
"Search Intensifies for Alternatives to Ozone-Depleting Halocarbons,"
P.S. Zurer, Chemical and Engineering News, Feb. 8, 1988, pp. 17-20.
Discusses the eight specific halocarbons to be controlled if the Protocol is
ratified, and the substitutes being considered. A recently developed
biodegradable cleaning agent may replace CFC-113, used extensively by the
electronics industry. Manufacturers of rigid foam will be severely affected, and
halon fire extinguishers pose a problem since there are no known substitutes.
"A Down-to Earth Job: Saving the Sky," S. Gannes, Fortune,
March 14, 1988, pp. 133, 136, 141.
"Du Pont Backs 'Orderly Transition' to Total Phase-Out of
Halogenated CFCs," BNA Environment Reporter, April 1, 1988, pp.
2388-2389. Includes comments of officials from Du Pont and other firms.
"Decline of the CFC Empire," Science News, April 9,
1988, pp. 234-236.
"Industry Announces End to Food Packaging Made with
Chlorofluorocarbons by Year's End," BNA Environment Reporter, April
15, 1988, pp. 2454-2455.
"Air Conditioners That Won't Monkey with the Ozone Layer," Business
Week -- Industrial Edition, April 25, 1988, p. 31. Describes new
refrigeration technology based on nickel alloys, including a fuel-saving version
for automobiles powered by waste engine heat.
"Trouble with Bubbles," T. Pearce, New Scientist, May
12, 1988, pp. 72-73. On the use of CFCs in the production of plastic foams, and
disadvantages posed by certain substitutes.
"Can Chemists Save the World from Chemists?" G. Freiherr, The
Scientist, May 16, 1988, pp. 1, 8. Focuses on innovative approaches being
pursued by some of the smaller firms.
"In Search of the Safe CFCs," M. Jones, New Scientist,
May 26, 1988, 56-60. Describes how scientific evidence and public opinion are
forcing chemical companies to find substitutes, which could be available now if
industry had followed up on research initiated in the 1970s. The Bureau of
European Consumer Unions has threatened a boycott throughout Europe if a certain
phase-out schedule is not met by industries; discusses the economic
repercussions of such a drastic move.
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