Illegal Trading of CFCs Imperils Ozone Layer

Smuggling of CFCs and other ozone-depleting chemicals is on the rise, interfering with efforts to repair the Earth’s protective ozone layer, the London-based Environment Investigation Agency said in a report released yesterday. As deadlines approach for phasing out CFCs, which are used in refrigeration and air conditioning, their price on the black market is increasing. Singapore and Dubai are major transit points in this illegal trade, with contraband chemicals being shipped from these cities to the U.S., which is a major consumer of illegal CFCs, as well as to Russia, Vietnam, Nepal, Cambodia, and China. This smuggling fosters continued reliance on ozone-depleting chemicals and prevents the adoption of safer alternatives, says Ezra Clark, an investigator with EIA.