Chlorofluorocarbons (CFSs)

Posted: 8 August 2001

A class of synthetic chemicals, better known under the name of Freon, first manufactured in the 1930s and widely used as refrigerants, spray propellants, solvents, and blowing agents for plastic foam. Stable and inert at ground level, these chemicals drift to the stratosphere where the sun's rays break away the chlorine and fluorine atoms they contain, causing a series of reactions that result in the destruction of stratospheric ozone.