Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs)

Chlorofluorocarbons (cfcs or chlorofluormethanes) are a group of chemicals containing carbon, fluorine, and chlorine atoms. They were used extensively throughout the 20th century for various applications because of their general nontoxicity and stable chemical properties. However, CFCs are also extremely potent greenhouse gases and are primarily responsible for the destruction of stratospheric ozone (O3). As of 2003, cumulative worldwide production of CFCs was estimated at 24 million metric tons (53 billion pounds), 96 percent of which has been released into the atmosphere.

CFCs were formally introduced to the world in 1928 by Thomas Midgley Jr. and colleagues with the synthesis of dichlorodifluoromethane (now known as CFC-12, CF2Cl2). Midgley's work was the answer to his assignment by General Motor's Frigidaire division to develop a nontoxic, noninflammable, and ...

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