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EARTH SCIENCE > ATMOSPHERE > ATMOSPHERIC CHEMISTRY > HALOCARBONS AND HALOGENS > CHLOROFLUOROCARBONS

Definition:
CFCs are very stable chemical compounds, used in refrigerants, solvent, and
(in the past in the U.S.) aerosols, which release chlorine (important) and
fluorine (less important) into the upper atmosphere. In the stratosphere,
CFCs are photolyzed (by incoming solar UV) to form carbon dioxide, CO2,
hydrogen fluoride, HF, and ultimately (after multiple UV absorption
events) chlorine radicals. These chlorine species are crucial in the
destruction of the ozone layer over Antarctica and probably elsewhere (see
chlorine). [Environmental Science and Technology; v 28; pages 1619-1622;
1994.]


Reference:
Atmospheric and Air Chemistry Glossary from the Sam Houston State University.
http://www.shsu.edu/~chemistry/Glossary/glos.html