chlorofluorocarbon (CFC)

  

Definition

Hydrocarbon whose some or most hydrogen atoms have been replaced by chlorine and fluorine atoms. CFCs are chemically and thermally stable and non-combustible synthetic solvents with several industrial applications, such as in manufacture of aerosols, plastic foam, refrigerants. Although they are relatively less-toxic, their production and use is restricted because (when released into the atmosphere) they contribute to the destruction of the ozone gas in upper atmosphere. Thus causing wide 'holes' in the ozone layer through which cancer causing ultraviolet (UV) rays can reach the earth's surface. Together with chlorofluoromethanes, CFCs are grouped as fluorocarbons. Also called chlorinated fluorocarbon.

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