Chlorofluorocarbon (CFC)

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Any of several organic compounds made up of carbon, hydrogen, fluorine, and chlorine – gases covered under the 1987 Montreal Protocol. CFCs are used for refrigeration, air conditioning, packaging, insulation, solvents, and aerosol propellants. Since they are not destroyed in the lower atmosphere, CFCs drift into the upper atmosphere where, given suitable conditions, they break down ozone. These gases were initially replaced by other compounds: hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) an interim replacement for CFCs that are also covered under the Montreal Protocol, and hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) which are covered under the Kyoto Protocol. All these substances are also Greenhouse gases (GHGs). HCFCs and CFCs have now been phased out and banned in most countries around the globe, except for limited “essential uses”.

The day on which the Montreal Protocol was signed (16 September, 1987) is marked globally as World Ozone Day.

See: Hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), Perfluorocarbons (PFCs), Ozone Depleting Substance (ODS), Montreal Protocol


Britannica: chlorofluorocarbon