The first ever international agreement to regulate substances that deplete the ozone layer was signed in 1987. It has since been ratified by 196 countries. The aim is to phase out various substances with ozone-depleting potential (ODP) including CFCs and HCFCs. These were commonly used as propellants or in refrigeration, air conditioning and foam blowing applications.
The phase-out timetable varies according to product and geographic region.
CFCs used to be the largest contributor to ozone depletion. As of 2010, the use of CFCs is extremely restricted in all 196 countries. HCFCs are less damaging to the ozone layer, generally with an ODP of between 5% and 10% of the CFC potential. However, the Montreal Protocol requires the complete phase-out of HCFCs globally by 2040.
Legislation restricting the production, sale and use of HCFCs is already commonplace in many countries. Quotas aimed at gradually restricting the use of these products are in place in many countries, including the US, Canada and Australia. A more aggressive timetable exists within the EU as outlined below.
Regulation (EC) No 2037/2000 on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer
The EU ratified a regulation in 2000 to introduce:
- A sales ban on CFCs in Europe from 2000
- A sales ban on virgin HCFCs by 2010, and on recycled HCFCs by 2015
- Minimum competence/skill standards for refrigeration/air conditioning engineers
- Duty to record and report controlled substances.
Outside the EU, various other regulations govern the use of substances that deplete the ozone layer. The main ones are listed below:
Environmental Protection Agency
Clean Air Act
Environment Canada Stratospheric Ozone Web Site
Department of Environment, Water, Heritage and Arts
Korea Specialty Chemical Industry Association
Pollution Control Department
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