EFCTC: Environmental Impact of Fluorocarbons

Some Fluorocarbons (HFC-134a and HCFC-123) will break down readily in the lower atmosphere to form simple inorganic species already present in the environment. A few HFCs can be expected to form some trifluoroacetic acid (TFA).

The environmental impact of TFA has been investigated and, at the concentrations possible from their use, HFCs do not pose a threat to the environment and a wide range of organisms.

There is a very large quantity of trifluoroacetic acid in the sea; (probably 100 to 200 million tonnes), this is natural, although the exact origin has yet to be found.

Emissions of Fluorocarbons "do not pose a threat to the environment"

A recent assessment on the uptake of TFA (trifluoroacetic acid) by a common Pine tree concludes that, even at very high concentrations, TFA has no effect on this vegetation.

Ref : Benesch and Gustin, Atmos Environ 36(7), 1233-1235, Uptake of Trifluoroacetate by Pinus ponderosa via atmospheric pathway.

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