HFCs: The Alternatives that Were Not Safer


In 1991, the Journal of Air & Waste Management Association published the article “Chlorinated Solvents: Will the Alternatives be Safer?” in which the authors discuss concerns over the use of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCS) which were known to be greenhouse gasses.

The authors of the article reveal that in the case of aqueous formations “virtually none of the new substances or additives have been adequately tested for chronic toxicity” though they were pushed onto the market as a new cooling agent in air conditioners and refrigerators.


To remediate the aforementioned absence of testing around the effects of HFCs on environmental health, the EPA has just enacted a new rule that aims to reduce U.S. production and consumption of HFCs in order to mitigate their global warming potential. Read about the prophetic warnings against HFCs from the 1990s here.