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The Nation : Ozone-Safe Chemical Testing Criticized

Alternatives to ozone-depleting chemicals are not being tested sufficiently by the federal government to ensure their safety, and substitutes that are dangerous have not been controlled, congressional investigators reported. The General Accounting Office, in a sharp rebuke to the Environmental Protection Agency, said the agency has been too lenient with the chemical industry in the nation’s rush to find substitutes for chlorofluorocarbons. The study acknowledged that EPA is wrestling with a dilemma as the nation begins its planned end-of-the-century ban on CFCs. That dilemma, it said, requires the agency to balance “the need to stop further ozone depletion quickly and the need to satisfy traditional toxicological concerns over the safety of chemicals.” There is no commercial production yet of substitutes for CFCs, which are used primarily in air-conditioning and refrigeration equipment.


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