Since long ago, the chemicals called chlorofluorocarbons (CFC) were used in aerosol cans and refrigerators. No one was aware of the effects that they brought with them. In the 1970s, the scientists realized that the CFC which was being consumed was staying in the environment and eroding the ozone layer that protects us from the ultraviolet rays. After this realization, in 1987, all the world’s nations signed the Montreal Protocol. The protocol ended the usage of CFC in the next two decades.
Since 2010, the world stopped using the CFC products and replaced them with cleaner and safer products. The ozone layer made a full recovery and is considered as one of the greatest success stories of the environmental movement. However, a new research from NOAA shows that CFCs are still present in the atmosphere somehow. The NOAA has various stations all over the world which are constantly monitoring the air for all kind of chemicals. After reaching a peak in the mid of 1990s, the CFC levels have been decreasing consistently. But since around 2012, the decrease has slowed down and CFC has started making its way into the atmosphere again.
There are very few sources for the additional CFC including the aerosol cans which were made before the ban or old buildings which had CFC material in them. However, none of them can be the reason for the problem. The researchers have concluded that the only reason CFC is again making its way in the atmosphere is that someone is making the stuff again. This is a serious problem since whoever is doing so, is violating the international law and is causing the delay in the recovery of the ozone layer by decades.
So far there’s no evidence to find where this excess Chlorofluorocarbon might be coming from but researchers say that if an investigation is conducted, the source can be found easily. This case is also very mysterious since there is no reason to manufacture the chemical anymore. There are several safer and cheaper alternates present to be used for decades now. If the production kept increasing, soon an investigation will start and whoever is responsible will be held accountable. Fingers crossed!