The U.S. in late 1986 urged an international conference in Geneva, Switzerland to consider steps to freeze
and eventually eliminate production of chlorofluorocarbons and other gases that deplete the atmospheric
ozone shield that protects the earth from harmful ultraviolet radiation from the sun. Experts from 40 nations
and 14 non-governmental agencies gathered to discuss the uses of chlorofluorocarbons and how to limit
them. Chlorofluorocarbons are banned in the U.S. and Canada, but production worldwide increased annually
by 7% in 1983 and 1984 (thus doubling every 10 years), and now totals about 600,000 tons per year. Twenty
countries have signed and 8 (including the U.S.) have ratified the 1985 Vienna Convention for the Protection
of the Ozone Layer.
--Peter Montague, Ph.D.
Descriptor terms: ozone; atmosphere; chlorofluorocarbons; federal; canada; switzerland; compacts; bans; regulation; global environmental problems; chemical production statistics; air pollution;