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Global Climate Change DigestArchives of the
Global Climate Change Digest

A Guide to Information on Greenhouse Gases and Ozone Depletion
Published July 1988 through June 1999

FROM VOLUME 2, NUMBER 4, APRIL 1989

NEWS...
CFC PRODUCERS AND USERS


Item #d89apr11

VEHICLE AIR CONDITIONERS. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently joined with the Mobile Air Conditioning Society (MACS) and Friends of the Earth in announcing a voluntary agreement on an industry standard of purity for recycled refrigerant from mobile air conditioners. Mobile air conditioners contribute up to 19 percent of CFCs vented to the atmosphere in the United States. The Society is urging all members to voluntarily reduce releases of CFCs through the use of recycling equipment and improved service procedures. It supports a three-year phase-in of recycling equipment, while the ozone-damaging R-12 CFC available in 14-ounce cans is phased out. EPA will strictly monitor recycling progress and will institute regulations if necessary. The Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Association, representing major U.S. and other companies, has agreed to cover such recycling under new car warranties. Contact MACS at POB 1307, 1709 N. Broad St., Lansdale PA 19446 (215-362-5800).


Item #d89apr12

CFC PRODUCTION FEES. The Alliance for Responsible CFC Policy stated its opposition to a proposal to charge market value for rights to produce or import substances that will be controlled by the Montreal Protocol. Such a "windfall profit" scheme was proposed in January 1989 in President Ronald Reagan's budget, and is under consideration by the Bush Administration. Under current regulations production rights would be allocated by historical market share. The Alliance, a coalition of U.S. industries that produce or rely on CFC compounds, argues that such a tax will reduce resources needed by industry to develop substitute chemicals and technologies, and the United States should focus instead on reviewing the Montreal Protocol requirements and encouraging participation by other nations. The Alliance also reiterated its call for the maximum possible phase-out of fully halogenated CFCs, following the announcement of results of the Arctic ozone expedition in February. The Alliance is located at 1901 N. Fort Meyer Dr., S. 1204, Rosslyn VA 22209 (703-841-9363).

"Bush's Windfall Tax Proposal Angers U.S. CFC Producers," C.B. Mackerron, Chem. Week, 8-9, Mar. 8, 1989. Also covers legislation introduced by Representative Pete Stark (Democrat, California) that would levy a $5 billion tax over five years on CFC producers.


Item #d89apr13

ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STUDY. Fourteen chlorofluorocarbon manufacturers from around the world have started an Alternative Fluorocarbon Environmental Acceptability Study (AFEAS). It will evaluate the effect, if any, of alternatives to CFCs, focusing on their impact on stratospheric ozone, tropospheric ozone, global warming and acid deposition. Acid deposition is a possible concern because the breakdown products may be water soluble. The group will evaluate hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) 134a, 152a and 125, and hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) 123, 141b, 142b, 22 and 124. HFCs and HCFCs are less of a threat to stratospheric ozone than CFCs. Findings will be reported in mid-1989, and a final report published in early 1990. Cooperative toxicity testing of three of the substitutes was begun in 1988.


Item #d89apr14

DUPONT DEVELOPS BLENDS. The DuPont Company has developed proprietary technology for producing three-component blends of CFC substitutes, intended for replacements in servicing existing refrigeration and air conditioning equipment. The blends have an ozone depletion potential about 97 percent less than the currently used chemical, CFC-12. Existing refrigeration equipment accounts for about 30 percent of the United States market for CFCs. Blends could provide energy efficiency and cooling capacity equivalent to CFC-12, but better than HFC-134a, the leading single-product candidate for such applications. There has been concern that the efficiency of home refrigerators and freezers would be lower if manufacturers adopt HFC-134a.


Item #d89apr15

FOOD PACKAGING. The Polystyrene Packaging Council and the Foodservice and Packaging Institute announced in February 1989 that their members are 99 percent free from the use of fully halogenated hydrocarbons in the production of polystyrene food service products (utensils, cups, trays), and will work toward a similar phase-out in food packaging (egg cartons and meat trays). Permission to switch to food grade HCFC-22 was granted by the EPA in March 1988. An EPA representative quoted by Environ. Rptr. Curr. Devel. (p. 2038, Feb. 24, 1989) commended such voluntary industry efforts, noting however that the switch will not be globally significant.

INDUSTRY NEWS NOTES


Item #d89apr16

"Electronics Industry in Front Line," M. Barinaga, Nature, p. 101, Mar. 9, 1989. Most electronics industry representatives at a meeting in Santa Clara, California feared CFC-113 will be regulated before a substitute is ready, and this could be counterproductive.

"In Protecting the Atmosphere, Choices Are Costly and Complex," M.W. Browne, New York Times, C1, C13, Mar. 7, 1989. Feature article explaining how many changes are considered a step backward by manufacturers.

"Industry People Say Arctic Ozone Study Indicates Need for CFC, Halon Reductions," Environ. Rptr. Curr. Devel., p. 2349, Mar. 3, 1989. Representatives from DuPont and Allied-Signal testified before a Senate hearing.

"How Safe is the Safe CFC?" New Sci., p. 39, Feb. 25, 1989. Atmospheric concentrations of CFC-22, excluded from the Montreal Protocol, are rising rapidly, and will contribute to greenhouse warming by absorbing infrared radiation.

"Producers to Recycle Contaminated CFCs," Intl. Environ. Rptr., p. 98, Feb. 1989 The European Chemical Industry Federation announced in January that producers of CFCs will recover and recycle them whenever feasible, although technical and logistical problems remain, because emissions must be kept to a minimum.

"Atochem Bets on CFC in 1990s," D. Hunter, Chem. Week, p. 20, Jan. 18, 1989. Atochem of France intends to acquire Racon Inc., which produces CFCs in Wichita, Kansas, so it will have a foothold in the U.S. market for sales of CFC substitutes.

"Confident ICI Plans Benign CFCs," Chem. in Britain, p. 19, Jan. 1989. ICI is rapidly gearing up to produce the substitute HFC-131a much faster than anticipated, and will have plants completed in 1991 and 1992 in Britain and the U.S.

"Montreal Protocol Impacts Ship Owners," Marine Log, 24, 25, Dec. 1989. Retrofitting refrigerated vessels with ozone-safe equipment could cost at least $100,000 per ship with existing technology.

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