How can the negative effects of chlorofluorocarbons on the atmosphere be reduced?

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belarafon eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) products are commonly used as refrigerants and aerosols. Most CFCs are harmful to the atmosphere, as they bind with ozone and contribute to greenhouse warming. Use of CFCs has been slowly reduced since the mid 1980s, when studies revealed these harmful effects. The most common method of reducing CFC impact is to replace CFCs with HCFCs, a less-stable compound that deteriorates rapidly in the atmosphere, causing little damage. Another method is improved recycling protocols for old and disused materials, allowing the CFCs to be altered and reused instead of released. On an individual level, appliances that may contain CFCs (such as air conditioners) should be used sparingly, replaced with appliances that do not use CFCs, and recycled according to EPA standards to avoid loosing their CFC load into the atmosphere. Aerosol products, such as deodorants and hairspray, should be examined before purchase; newer products have different aerosols and can be identified by the labeling.

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