Cut-price Chinese home insulation is being blamed for a massive rise in emissions of a gas, highly damaging to the Earth’s protective ozone layer, reports BBC.
The Environmental Investigations Agency (EIA) found widespread use of CFC-11 in China, even though the chemical was fully banned back in 2010.Scientists have been extremely puzzled by the mysterious rise in emissions. But this report suggests the key source is China’s home construction industry.
Just two months ago, researchers published a study showing that the expected decline in the use of CFC-11 after it was completely banned eight years ago had slowed to a crawl.
There were suspicions among researchers that new supplies were being made somewhere in East Asia.
Rumours were rife as to the source. There was a concern among some experts that the chemical was being used to secretly enrich uranium for use in nuclear weapons.
The reality it seems is more about insulation than proliferation.
CFC-11 makes a very efficient “blowing agent” for polyurethane foam, helping it to expand into rigid thermal insulation that’s used in houses to cut energy bills and reduce carbon emissions.Researchers from the EIA, a green campaign group, contacted foam manufacturing factories in 10 different provinces across China.