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Transcript of Chlorofluorocarbons
What are Chlorofluorocarbons?
Chlorofluorocarbons or CFC's, are organic chemical compounds that contain chlorine, fluorine, and carbon. These substances are believed to be one of the main causes of global warming, due to their ability to destroy ozone. When CFC's are released into the atmosphere, the ultraviolet rays from the sun break down the CFC's into harmful substances like chlorine. These substances can now destroy the ozone, and one CFC molecule can destroy anywhere from 10,000 ozone molecules to 1,000,000 depending on what it is. Chlorofluorocarbons can be found in a multitude of household objects, here are some of them.
What are Chlorofluorocarbons?
Chlorofluorocarbons or CFCs are organic chemical compounds (their molecules contain carbon) comprised of chlorine, fluorine, and carbon. CFCs can be found in a multitude of household objects, here are some of them.
What are the issues with Chlorofluorocarbons?
CFCs are believed to be one of the biggest causes of global warming due to their ability to destroy ozone. When CFCs are released into the earth's atmosphere, the ultraviolet rays from the sun break up the CFCs into harmful substances like chlorine. These substances can now destroy ozone molecules. One chlorine atom can destroy approximately 100 000 ozone molecules. If this repeats on and on, it will eventually destroy enough ozone to forms holes. Holes in the ozone layer will of course allow the sun's UV radiation to enter our atmosphere and heat the earth.
What are some advantages?
Though Chlorofluorocarbons have their cons, they have plenty of pros too. CFCs make great refrigerants, generally have a low toxicity and flammability level, and they are very inexpensive when compared to other chemicals that have the same purpose. Chlorofluorocarbons also make very good propellants and and blowing agents which is why they're used in aerosol cans.
How is this issue being resolved?
The Montreal Protocol was signed in September 16th 1987 in Montreal, and is an international treaty designed to protect the ozone layer, in which they try to get people to phase out the production and consumption of substances allegedly responsible for the creation of the ozone layer hole in the antarctic. Their perspective is that they believe that if we lower our consumption of chlorofluorocarbons, The layer in the ozone might fully recover by 2050. 197 countries have signed the treaty including all countries in the United Nations.
My take on this issue is that though chlorofluorocarbons are terrible for the environment, they do serve a good purpose in our society. Without CFCs, we wouldn't have the proper refrigeration we have today. Back in the day, refrigeration used chemicals like sulfur dioxide as refrigerants. It was great at absorbing heat, however it was dangerously toxic, and somewhat reactive. Chlorofluorocarbons aren't completely bad or completely good, but I think that they're leaning more on the negative side. I support the Montreal Protocol, and I think we should reduce our usage of CFCs as much as possible if we want to preserve our planet for as long as possible. I also think that since scientists and innovators have come up with the most high tech, state of the art advances in science, they could produce a new chemical that combines function with eco-friendliness.
Grade 9 Science
Help save the environment,
Reduce CFC usage!
Chlorofluorocarbons not only affect the atmosphere, they also affect our health. Since ozone depletion has created a hole in the ozone layer, harmful ultraviolet radiation can enter our atmosphere. UV rays are believed to be responsible for skin cancers like Melanoma which can be caused by sunburns at young ages. Some doctors believed that another health effect caused by UV radiation are Cataracts, which can be caused by UV exposure to the eyes.