Technology

Report blames Chinese companies for ozone-depleting gas

A group of environmentalists today (July 9, 2018) published a shell report stating that Chinese factories are using illegal ozone-depleting chlorofluorocarbons, and recently there has been an upsurge in the phenomenon, which is even worse for the scientific community.

The environmental group is called the Environmental Investigation Agency and said that 18 factories in 10 provinces in China have been using prohibited chlorofluorocarbons. Chinese producers and traders told researchers that most of the Chinese companies producing foam as insulating material in the developing construction sector are still using CFC-11 because of their better quality and lower price.

CFCs are chemicals that deplete the ozone layer, a fine gas shield that protects life on earth from dangerous solar rays. Under the internationally binding Montreal Protocol signed in 1987, production of CFCs was officially banned in developing countries in 2010.

The Chinese authorities have stated that the country has successfully completed its industrial practice of CFC use in 2007. The Chinese Ministry of the Environment has not made any statements regarding this issue, at least for the time being.

A company spokesman mentioned in the report said the company is supplying CFCs from unauthorized plants following fraudulent practices in Mongolia and deliberately concealing the substance from official export data to other countries.

Other companies included in the report reported that their companies produce the same substance in their factories, and indeed have the capacity to produce 40 tons of CFC per day, an extravagantly large number for the current data of the alleged ban.

Traders named in the report also reported that Chinese companies are exporting prohibited CFCs by incorrectly marking them as hydrofluorocarbon compounds (HFCs) or as other chemical blends.

Given the volume of exports of such compounds to other countries, particularly in Asia and the Middle East, it is likely that nations that have committed themselves to ban CFCs have accidentally introduced these prohibited substances, the report said.

If China does not stop this illegal production, it will endanger the ozone layer that is difficult to return to its natural state. CFC-11 is also a factor that boosts climate change and global warming, causing a huge problem. In May, an international team of scientists published a survey that showed that CFC-11’s negative action in the atmosphere is still ongoing, suggesting it is produced secretly despite the global ban.