Science & Tech
Researchers find degraded, toxic compounds from CFC replacements in ice core sample from summit of Devon Ice Cap.
Substances used to replace ozone-depleting chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) may be as problematic as their predecessors, a new study shows.
“The degradation products from these substances may be just as concerning as the original chemicals they were meant to replace,” said Alison Criscitiello, director of the University of Alberta’s Canadian Ice Core Lab.
“We are seeing significant levels of these short-chain acids accumulating in the Devon Ice Cap (in the Canadian Arctic), and this study links some of them directly to CFC replacement compounds.”
The substances were used following Canada’s implementation of the Montreal Protocol, a 1987 global agreement to protect Earth’s ozone layer by banning CFCs.
An ice core drilled on the summit of the Devon Ice Cap in the Canadian High Arctic shows a tenfold increase in deposits of short...