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2014-03-09. Mysterious new man-made gases pose threat to ozone layer.

posted Mar 9, 2014, 11:10 PM by Alan Gould

 For GSS Ozone chapter 4. Excerpt: ...Lying in the atmosphere, between 15 and 30km above the surface of the Earth, the ozone layer plays a critical role in blocking harmful UV rays, which cause cancers in humans and reproductive problems in animals. ...Scientists from the British Antarctic Survey were the first to discover a huge "hole" in the ozone over Antarctica in 1985. The evidence quickly pointed to CFC gases, which were invented in the 1920s, and were widely used in refrigeration and as aerosol propellants in products like hairsprays and deodorants. ...A total global ban on production came into force in 2010. Now, researchers from the University of East Anglia have discovered evidence of four new gases that can destroy ozone and are getting into the atmosphere from as yet unidentified sources. ...Three of the gases are CFCs and one is a hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC), which can also damage ozone. ...They estimate that about 74,000 tonnes of these gases have been released into the atmosphere. Two of the gases are accumulating at significant rates. ..."We don't know where the new gases are being emitted from and this should be investigated. Possible sources include feedstock chemicals for insecticide production and solvents for cleaning electronic components." ...The four new gases have been identified as CFC-112, CFC112a, CFC-113a, HCFC-133a ...The research has been published in the journal, Nature Geoscience.... http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-26485048. Matt McGrath, BBC News.