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Dichlorodifluoromethane is an inert gas used ad a refrigerant. Regardless of its value, Freon is identified as a major cause of ozone depletion, and it is not allowed to be produced in the U.S.
The EPA has created a program to evaluate alternate types of refrigants that are not ozone depleting. The program is Significant New Alternatives Policy Program (SNAP). They evaluate and regulate alternatives that are substitutes for the ozone-depleting chemicals that are being phased out.
While Freons are now viewed as problem compounds because of their contribution to the depletion of the ozone layer in the earth's atmosphere, it is important to remember that for decades Freons have provided a safe refrigerant for a variety of industrial, automotive, and home uses.
Before Freons were invented, chemical refrigerants were toxic and unsafe. Freons are stable, inert compounds that are not flammable and have very low boiling points. These qualities made Freon an important breakthrough for manufacturers in the early 20th century.
Freon was invented in 1928 by Thomas Midgley, Jr..
It has replaced the dangerous chemicals used for cooling, by then: ammonia, sulfur dioxide, etc.. However, Freon is not lacked of danger: it may cause asphyxiation (in large quantities) and it has negative effects on the environment, currently being increasingly less used. The term "Freon" is a trademark of DuPont Company.
Freon is a corporate (DuPont) trade name for an odorless, colorless, nonflammable, and noncorrosive chlorofluorocarbon and hydrochlorofluorocarbon refrigerant. It is commonly used in air conditioning, refrigeration, and several automatic fire-fighting systems.
It is one of a class of chemicals due to environmental (e.g. ozone depletion) and safety concerns. Inhalation of relatively low concentrations of Freon is unlikely to cause major health problems, but higher concentrations can displace enough oxygen to cause asphyxiation.
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