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Environmental impact of a material

Environmental impact of a material

01.04.2003

Impact on the environment is proportional to the quantity of any material released and the potency of that material for environmental effects.

In the context of refrigeration, air-conditioning and energy conservation, the environmental impact of agents such as hydrocarbons and fluorochemicals depends on the amounts that are released as well as intrinsic properties such as flammability, Ozone Depletion potential and Global Warming Potential.

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It is self evident that the impact of any chemical on the environment depends as much on the quantity that is emitted as it does on the potency of the chemical to cause a change.

Impact on the environment is proportional to the quantity released and the potency of the material

For example, the yield of a crop will benefit as much from the quantity of fertiliser applied to the field as from the quality and strength of that fertiliser.

The pollution caused by one small car driven long and hard can be greater than that from several large cars used little and gently.

In the context of refrigeration, air-conditioning and energy conservation, the environmental impact of fluorochemicals depends on the amounts that are released as well as on the intrinsic properties called Ozone Depletion Potential and Global Warming Potential.

Just as we cannot render a flammable substance non-flammable, we cannot take any action that will change the numbers for the intrinsic properties but if we focus just on these numbers we ignore the part of environmental impact that can be changed.

Emissions can and should be reduced without sacrificing any of the benefits of using these safe materials.

Related Document factsheet01_what-influences-the-environmental-impact-of-a-material (pdf - 33.07 Kb)