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Industrial Chloroform Emissions Are Rising, and That's Bad News

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Gary Wynn
Jan 04, 2019 21:00
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One of the rare bright spots amidst the environmental hellscape of 2018 was a United Nations report that the ozone hole was on track to be fully healed by mid century.

But because no good news comes without caveats, scientists are now reporting that overlooked emissions of chloroform, which are on the rise in East Asia, could put a bit of a damper on that recovery.

In addition to knocking people unconscious in mid-2oth century spy movies, chloroform is used in the manufacturing of various products, from Teflon to refrigerants.

It’s also part of a diverse family of chlorinated substances humans produce that have the unhappy side-effect of destroying ozone, a molecule that forms a protective stratospheric shield against DNA-damaging ultraviolet light.

The primary ozone-destroying substances, called chlorofluorocarbons, were phased out under the Montreal Protocol beginning in the late 1980s.

But until now, chloroform’s ability to gnaw away at our ozone layer has been largely overlooked, given its short (

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Gary Wynn
Jan 04, 2019 21:00
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