Household refrigeration appliances and pollution
Refrigeration and air conditioning appliances contain harmful gases that significantly contribute to global warming.
In Quebec, end-of-life household refrigeration appliances are estimated at 348 000 per year. Unfortunately, 80% are improperly handled and processed, which releases harmful gases into the atmosphere.
Environmental impact of a refrigerator or freezer
What are halocarbons?
Halocarbons are man-made products containing fluorine, carbon, and hydrogen and may include chlorine. Halocarbons refer to chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), and hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). Freon is the trade name for refrigerant gas which contains the halocarbons used in air conditioners, refrigerators, and dehumidifiers.
CFCs, Freons, other ODS and their environmental impact
Ozone-depleting substances (ODS) are chlorine-containing halocarbons. The chlorine interacts with and destroys the earth’s ozone, which is concentrated in a layer 10 to 40 km above the earth, in the stratosphere. This layer protects us from the harmful effects of UV rays. The greenhouse effect and ozone depletion contribute to global warming, which increases the demand for air conditioning and energy; we then produce more refrigeration and air conditioning units, creating a vicious circle.
This article outlines what is the ozone hole in 5 points (in French).