EIA report accuses China firms over ozone-depleting gas

Foamy problems

Foamy problems

The illegal ozone-destroying chemical CFC-11 remains in use in some Chinese provinces, a development which could imperil the gains of a 1987 agreement to protect the ozone layer, said an environmental group on Monday (July 9).

18 factories in China are continuing to use CFCs, explaining why the ozone-depleting chemical was found in the atmosphere earlier this year, according to the NGO.

CFC-11 is very efficient to blowing for poly-urethane foam with helps it to enlarge into thermal insulation which is used in home to avoid energy bills and carbon emission is lesser. The NY Times said, in its article, that numerous CFC producing companies it spoke to "treat fines and shutdowns as just the price of business". The CFC-11 containing foam mixtures were also being exported overseas.

The ozone layer that shields life from the sun's cancer-causing ultraviolet rays is showing its first sign of thickening after years of unsafe depletion, a United Nations study said on Wednesday.

One seller of CFC-11 estimated that 70% of China's domestic sales used the illegal gas.

At least 18 companies in China were found still using banned ozone-depleting gas called CFC-11. "The fact that they were so blasé about it, the fact that they told us very openly how pervasive it is in the market, these were shocking findings for us".

The EIA's evidence has been passed to the Chinese government, which has already inspected and taken samples from some sites, and to officials at the Montreal Protocol (MP), the treaty that phased out ozone-killing chemicals. So that CFC-11 is great quality and as cheaper as possible of user.

Rigid PU foam is widely used in the construction industry to insulate walls, roofs, windows and doors to maintain temperatures inside a building. "CFC-11 is also a super global warmer, making this a serious threat for our climate as well". Researchers estimate that if the use of the chemical continues, it would be the equivalent of CO₂ from 16 coal-fired power stations every year! A recent report by the Environmental Investigative Agency (EIA), a not for profit in Washington DC, finds that the source of this chemical, banned under the Montreal Protocol since 2010, lies in the rigid polyurethane (PU) foam industry in China.

What's more likely is that China will be encouraged to crack down on the production of CFC-11s and to launch a full-scale investigation with the support of the Montreal Protocol secretariat. "We want them to clamp down but it's supremely important for them to carry out a comprehensive investigation into the sector. It has to result in seizures, it has to result in arrests so that people know there are harsh penalties for the production of CFC-11". An MP working group is meeting in Vienna on 11 July and will consider the next steps.

A reduced ozone layer means that the Earth is more vulnerable to the risky UVB radiation from outer space. This is important because ultraviolet radiation can lead to skin cancer and eye damage in humans, can damage crops and marine life.

Latest News