freon flix (Captioned)


(Music) This little can with
a button on top is used
in hundreds of ways to make your life easier
and more pleasent. It contains an aerosole. And of course
you know what this is. Now what do these
two things have in common? Well the answer is Freon,
fluorinated hydrocabons. Used as cooling agents
in the coils of your refrigerators and as propellents
in aerosols of all kinds. Wasted, people would basically
get upset stomachs, more serious effects
of food poisoning. So the advent of refridgeration
is absolutely critical. Although the very first refrigerators
which came on the market soon proved to be popular, they were also
a health hazard. The refrigerents that were
first used were very dangerous. They were ammonia (NH3), they were sulfur dioxide (SO2), They were chemicals that could be directly toxic
or they could damage food. There were many stories
in local newspapers about families
that would die from a leaking
refrigerator. or about health problems such as breathing problems
that would be made worse. There were fires
and explosions. So it was a very,
dangerous time in refrigeration
and air conditioning. Manufacturers of refrigerants such as the cooling division
of General Motors, rushed to develop
a safer compound with their most noteworthy
scientist Thomas Midgley, discovering a refrigerant in 1930, which was trademarked as Freon. It was both
nonflammable and nontoxic and to prove his point,
Midgley inhaled Freon and then afterwards
blew out a candle, much to an impressed
American Chemical Society Assembly. Usage quickly spread
to dishwashing sponges, foam rubber,
foam insulation, and aerosol cans. By the 50’s and 60’s the average American household had around 40 different
assorted aerosol cans in use. Hairspray, insecticides,
paint sprays etc. such that the consumption
of CFCs emitted into the air, rocketed to almost
a million tons a year. But the question was, where did they end up?

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