Thursday, April 14, 2016

Freon and the Environment, part 1

Freon is the registered trademark of The Chemours Company, a spinoff of the DuPont Company, “for the refrigerants R-12, R-13B1, R-22, R-502, and R-503.” 

The Chemours Company uses the name Freon for a number of stable, nonflammable gases or liquids that have typically been used as refrigerants or aerosol propellants in such things as refrigerators, freezers, dehumidifiers, and canned products like hair sprays.
How harmful, however, is Freon on the environment? Well….it certainly takes its toll on the environment and the ozone layer.

In the late 1970s, chlorofluorocarbons, considered volatile organic chemicals by some, were under strict scrutiny due to their “destructive effects on the ozone layer.”

The ozone layer is a protective barrier from harmful ultraviolet light. By the late 1980s, “in response to a dramatic seasonal depletion of the ozone layer over Antarctica, diplomats in Montreal forged a treaty, the Montreal Protocol, which called for drastic reductions in the production of CFCs.”

“On 2 March 1989, 12 European Community nations agreed to ban the production of all CFCs by the end of the century. In 1990, diplomats met in London and voted to significantly strengthen the Montreal Protocol by calling for a complete elimination of CFCs by the year 2000. By the year 2010 CFCs should have been completely eliminated from developing countries as well.”

Most scientists believe, unfortunately, that “due to the environmental persistence of these chemicals, scientists warn that the CFCs already emitted will continue to affect our atmosphere for decades to come.” 

Recently, also, stricter guidelines on the disposal of items containing Freon, such as refrigerators, freezers, dehumidifiers, and air conditioners has left many with questions as to how to dispose of such items.

Some companies are equipped to handle these types of items and will meticulously separate the recyclable, hazardous, and non-recyclable items and divert them accordingly. Some recycling centers are ill-equipped to handle such an undertaking.

As governmental regulations on items containing Freon are honed and refined, recycling centers are more restricted as to what they are able to accept and what they have to turn away. Contact your local recycling center and your county’s Solid Waste Management District to see what they are able to accept.

For more information on recyclable items visit

1 comment:

  1. I learn some new stuff from it too, thanks for sharing your information.