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Scientists find toxic traces of new freons in Arctic ice

Canadian scientists have found that toxic compounds of fluorine and organic acids used instead of freon have been piling up in Arctic ice for several decades, TASS reported, quoted by BTA.
Freon is a chlorofluorocarbon discovered more than a hundred years ago and used actively as a coolant and as a component in building materials until the mid-1980s. Then American scientists determined that freons destroy the ozone layer.

After lengthy international negotiations, the production and use of the most dangerous freon species has been banned globally. This forced the production of new compounds to replace freon. The production of new freons has begun - compounds of fluorine and hydrocarbons that do not destroy the ozone layer. However, recently climatologists found that they are powerful greenhouse gases.

"We conducted the first long-term observations on the spread of these chemicals, whose share in the ecosystem has sharply increased in recent decades. The data we collect speaks to the fact that the ban on “old” freons has led to the accumulation of these similar substances in the Arctic, which excellently illustrates how such measures can have unpredictable consequences,” said Associate Professor Cory Young of York University in Toronto, Canada.

Yang and her colleagues discovered unexpected environmental consequences of using the new freons. They studied specimens of ice formed over four decades at two different points of the Canadian part of the Arctic. Scientists found that over the past three decades there has been a growth in the accumulation of toxic molecules that do not exist in nature in a natural form. Scientists believe they can be found not only in the Arctic but also in drinking water anywhere in the world.


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