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CFCs The beginning of the CFCchlorofluorocarbons era started in 1928 when CFC were invented by a Du Pont chemist CFC were best known as freons and became famous as a safe nonflammable refrigerant Its invention became a great triumph when Freon took the place of sulfur dioxide or ammonia which was used as the working liquid in refrigerators It eventually became widely used in automobile air conditioners and nontoxic propellants in aerosol cans Its insulating properties also was used for blowing agents for plastics and foam cups Thus CFCs became used all over the world and its business got bigger and bigger until late in 1973 Sherwood Rowland and Mario Molina two distinguished chemists came up with a surprising result in his calculations concerning the CFCs and ozone layer CFCs are basically inactive in the tropospherearound the altitude of 50000 feet so it would gradually drift upward until they reached the mid-stratosphereabout 100000 feet At this point CFCs would be broken down by short-wavelength ultraviolet radiation from the sun This radiation is the one which would not reach the lower atmosphere in large amounts because of the ozone layer When these CFCs do brake down they released atomic chlorine which then would react with the ozone and convert it back into plain oxygen The even worse part of all this is that these chlorine molecules do not become inactive after the first reaction with the ozone and would be available to destroy more ozone molecules Thus this process would be the function of a catalyst a single chlorine atom involved in a chain reaction to destroy many ozone molecules Rowland and Molina eventually agreed that this thinning of the ozone shield can cause a catastrophe for Earths living beings including humans by allowing large amounts of the deadly ultraviolet-B radiation to reach to Earths surface Rowland and Molina checked their calculations again and again to make sure that these figures had not
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