The severe degradation of the stratosphere's ozone layer due to widespread production and release of halogens (most notably CFCs and HCFCs, freons and halons). Since ozone deflects the most harmful UV light rays from reaching earth, dangers of decreased atmospheric ozone include skin cancer and cataracts, and damage to plants and plankton. See also Primary Energy.
Unit of measure for ozone depletion potential: kg of trichlorofluoromethane equivalent (CFC-11 e)
1. Halocarbons (CFCs, freons, halons) are emitted into the stratosphere via refrigerants, hair spray, etc.
2. Halocarbons react with sunlight to release chlorine atoms, which break down ozone molecules.
3. UVB radiation passes through depleted ozone layer and negatively impacts human health (skin cancer, eye damage, etc.) and environmental health (crop loss, plankton reduction, etc.).
What Can I Do On My Project?
• Request Environmental Product Declarations (EPD) from product vendors and manufacturers, to identify the associated impacts.
• Select products with a lower ozone depletion potential.
A product with less kg of CFC-11 e will have a lower ozone depletion potential.
• Eliminate use of CFC-based refrigerants.
Natural refrigerants like carbon dioxide, ammonia and propane can be used instead of chlorofluorocarbons.