2012-09-08. As Coolant Is Phased Out, Smugglers Reap Large Profits

posted Feb 19, 2013, 10:30 AM by Alan Gould
| Elizabeth Rosenthal and Andrew W. Lehren, The New York Times. Relevant to GSS Ozone chapter 9. Excerpt:   MIAMI — The chief executive of the century-old company from America’s heartland shifted nervously on the witness stand here as he tried to explain how a trusted senior vice president had been caught on a wiretap buying half a million dollars in smuggled merchandise, much of it from China.  But the contraband purchased by Marcone, a St. Louis-based company that claims to be the nation’s largest authorized source for appliance parts, was not counterfeit handbags or fake medicines. It was a colorless gas that provides the chill for air-conditioners from Miami to Mumbai, from Bogotá to Beijing. Under an international treaty, the gas, HCFC-22, has been phased out of new equipment in the industrialized world because it damages the earth’s ozone layer and contributes to global warming. There are strict limits on how much can be imported or sold in the United States by American manufacturers. But the gas is still produced in enormous volumes and sold cheaply in China, India and Mexico, among other places in the developing world, making it a profitable if unlikely commodity for international smugglers…. Read the full article: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/08/science/earth/smugglers-sell-coolant-tied-to-global-warming.html