19 July 2005

In this issue:

1- Building on success and facing the challenges ahead - the Multilateral Fund
2- Skin Cancer in Kids on the Rise
3- Honeywell Refrigerant Receives Broader Approval by U.S. EPA as Replacement for ODS
4- Slow Progress on Ozone Concerns

Featured Reading >>> Rich banks and high stocks! … but a bleak future for our climate
The world is well on its way to eliminate production and consumption of CFCs and other ozone-depleting substances (ODS). Only a few tens of thousands of tonnes of CFCs, for example, are being consumed each year, mainly in developing countries. Considering that some millions of tonnes were being consumed about two decades ago, this is quite an achievement. Drastic reduction in consumption of CFCs has certainly helped to reduce atmospheric chlorine loading and put the ozone layer on the path to recovery… However, the banks of CFCs, HCFCs and HFCs are matter of concern…
Article @ http://www.heatpumpcentre.org/publ/HPCOrder/ViewDocument.aspx?RapportId=236
Source: IEA Heat Pump Newsletter, Vol. 23, Number 2/2005, By: Rajendra Shende


1- Building on success and facing the challenges ahead - the Multilateral Fund
The Multilateral Fund is dedicated to reversing the deterioration of the Earth's ozone layer. Its success was highlighted this week at the meeting of the Fund's Executive Committee in Montreal where it was reported that projects financed by the Fund have so far eliminated the annual consumption of 243,207 tonnes of ozone depleting substances (ODSs). Multilateral Fund projects are extraordinarily cost effective: one kilogramme of ODS can be phased-out for less than US $5 of Fund finance. A typical project can be completed within 33 months of financing approval. In spite of the success of the Fund to date many challenges lie ahead. Under the Montreal Protocol, an international agreement that sets out a timetable for the phase-out of ODS in both developed and developing countries, the last 50 per cent of the main categories of ODS in developing countries must be phased out between 2005 and 2010.
Also this week, the Executive Committee approved over US $23 million in new projects for developing countries to phase out another 6,500 tonnes of ozone-depleting substances. The Committee also agreed a total of US $3.1 million to finance a comprehensive plan to assist Egypt to completely phase-out the use of CFCs in the refrigeration sector by 2010 - the deadline set by the Montreal Protocol. Another US $2 million in Multilateral Fund support will go to Brazil for a project that will lead to the total elimination of the use of methyl bromide, an ozone depleting substances used for fumigating soil and controlling pests.
The Committee also put into place procedures for verifying national ODS reduction targets in multi-year projects financed by the Fund. These procedures would assist in confirming that agreed reduction targets have been met so that the Committee could approve further disbursements of funds to the projects in a transparent process with full accountability to contributing countries.
More information on projects and activities recently funded by the Multilateral Fund can be found in the report of the Executive Committee which will be published on the Fund's web site in the near future.
For further information please visit the Multilateral Fund Website http://www.multilateralfund.org
Contact: Julia Anne Dearing, Information Management Officer, Secretariat of the Multilateral Fund for the Implementation of the Montreal Protocol secretariat@unmfs.org


2 - Skin Cancer in Kids on the Rise
HEALTH NEWS - Skin cancer is on the rise in adults, but now we learn more children are suffering from melanoma as well. Read what doctors are saying about this disturbing trend, and what parents can do to protect their children.
Melanoma in kids and teens used to be unheard of. Today many doctors report the numbers of pediatric melanoma cases are on the rise. While it's still uncommon affecting seven per million children, that number has more than doubled since 1982.
To explain the increase, some doctors think it might from depletion of ozone layers. The ozone protects the earth from some of the sun's damaging ultraviolet radiation. Since most lifelong sun damage happens before the age of 18, there are behaviors that can keep kids safe - or place them at risk.
But part of the problem is a lack of sun protection. More than half of teenagers don't use sunscreen. In fact one out of three teens say they tan because it looks healthy.
Kids should always use broad spectrum UVA- and UVB-blocking sunscreen and apply it every two hours. According to Dr. Janine Downie, a dermatologist from New York University, there is even sun-blocking clothing and fabric softeners that can make your clothes UV-protectant.
Article @ http://abclocal.go.com/kabc/health/070605_hs_kids_melanoma.html
Source: ABCNEWS.com, Canada, 6 July 2005

3 - Honeywell Refrigerant Receives Broader Approval By U.S. EPA As Replacement For ODSs
MORRIS TOWNSHIP, N.J., June 28, 2005 -- Honeywell (NYSE: HON) announced today that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has approved Genetron® R-245fa as a replacement for a variety of ozone-depleting refrigerants used in air conditioning and refrigeration for both new and retrofit applications.

The notification is part of the EPA's Significant New Alternatives Policy, or SNAP, which reviews and approves products used to replace ozone-depleting chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) and hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC) chemicals.

Until recently, R-245fa, a non-ozone-depleting hydrofluorocarbon (HFC), was only SNAP-approved for use in new low-pressure centrifugal chillers in the United States. The new approval means R-245fa can be used in a much broader range of new air conditioning and refrigeration equipment, as well as to retrofit existing equipment currently using CFC and HCFC refrigerants so that owners can comply with the phaseout of ozone-depleting substances. The product has been used successfully for a variety of applications outside the United States.

"We are committed to providing equipment manufacturers and service companies viable alternatives as the phaseout of ozone-depleting substances continues worldwide," said Jeremy Steinfink, Honeywell's Global Business Director for fluorocarbons. "This approval again demonstrates our position as a global leader in environmentally friendlier HFC technology and the development and production of high-performance refrigerants."

Only 58 percent of the 80,000 CFC chillers in use at the end of 1995 in the United States had been replaced or converted as of January 1, 2005, according to a recent survey of chiller manufacturers by an industry trade group.

The EPA SNAP approval specifies that R-245fa, a non-flammable, low-pressure refrigerant, can replace R-123 in existing low-pressure centrifugal chillers. It also can be used to replace CFC-11, CFC-113, CFC-114, HCFC-123 and HCFC-141b in new and existing non-mechanical and secondary cooling systems, very low temperature refrigeration, and industrial process air conditioning and refrigeration.

R-245fa is one of a family of refrigerants developed and patented by Honeywell to meet the challenge of replacing ozone-depleting substances, such as CFC refrigerant. To meet demand, Honeywell has increased its HFC chemical manufacturing capacity in the U.S. by investing more than $200 million during the past five years. The company last year opened a refrigerant manufacturing plant in Qingpu, Shanghai, China to serve growing demand for refrigerants in Asia. Honeywell manufactures R-245fa at its Geismar, La. facility.

In addition to R-245fa, Honeywell invented and patented refrigerant R-410A. Marketed by Honeywell under the trade name Genetron® AZ-20®, this technological innovation has since become the globally accepted standard for use in new residential and light-commercial air conditioning systems in Asia, Europe, and the United States.
Contact: Robert Donohoe, Honeywell Specialty Materials, robert.donohoe@honeywell.com
Source: Honeywell Press Release, 28 June 2005


4- Slow Progress on Ozone Concerns
When it comes to ozone, there is good news and there is bad news this week. On the plus side, the holes in the ozone layer that appear over the poles every year are repairing themselves and levels of 'bad ozone' close to the ground are down from the record levels recorded in the sweltering summer of 2003.
But environmentalists will not be celebrating just yet, as the holes are closing very slowly and will not be back to pre-1970s 'safe' levels for several decades to come and ground level ozone is still regularly exceeding healthy levels right across the European Union.
Ozone in the stratosphere protects the earth's surface from harmful ultra-violet radiation which can cause skin cancer and eye disease in humans.
The British Institute of Physics reports that global efforts to reduce the use of ozone-depleting chemicals such as CFCs appear to be having the desired effect, though more must still be done.
The report published by the Institute of Physics, The Rise of Ozone Research by Dr Peter Hodgson says that despite legislation, it will be decades before the ozone layer is restored.
The ozone holes over the polar regions are currently as deep and persistent as ever observed, leading to elevated levels of damaging ultra-violet radiation at the Earth's surface.
Dr Hodgson, a specialist working with independent consultants Sci-Fact, warns that the ozone layer is still under threat from many ozone-depleting substances, especially rising levels of CFC replacement compounds, which could undermine the progress made in controlling damaging emissions through legislation.
He warns against complacency and calls for further international efforts to strengthen and extend the Montreal Protocol, drawn up in 1987, which sought to restrict the production and use of ozone-depleting chemicals.
He also says that scientists have a crucial role to play in driving political change in this area.
Hodgson said: "The Montreal Protocol is doing a pretty good job but I think that an element of complacency has crept in.
"Although 180 countries have signed up, only a couple of dozen have actually ratified it and the amendments which came along a few years later.
"The pressure needs to be kept up on the other countries to ratify it and other substances need to be brought under the Montreal umbrella."
Evidence suggests that while the level of ozone-depleting chlorine is at or near its peak, levels of other ozone-depleting substances, such as bromine, is continuing to rise, the report says.
The ozone layer is now repairing itself and gradually sealing the hole but it is a slow process and scientists at the institute believe it will be many, many years before it has fully mended itself.
Meanwhile the European Environment Agency (EEA) has published its analysis of ground-level ozone monitored throughout the continent last summer.
While the figures look much better than those for the previous summer, the EEA has warned there is nothing to suggest three will be continued improvement as 2003 was an exceptional year and the most recent results are roughly in line with others recorded over the past decade.
Ozone is a strong photochemical oxidant and when found in relatively high concentrations at ground level it has serious implications for human health.
It can cause heart and respiratory disease as well as harming eco-systems, crops and industrial materials.
Most emissions come from road transport, heat and power generation, industry and the transport and storage of petrol.
The EC has set a threshold of 180 µg/m3 and believes exceeding this level is harmful to humans. There is a long term target to keep the level below and average of 120µg/m3 for any eight hour period. According to the EEA report: "Exceedances on the long-term objective for the protection of human health were observed in almost every country, every month at most of the stations." Out of all the EU states, only Latvia did not exceed safe levels last summer. Worst affected areas were Southern France, Northern Italy, Spain, Portugal and Greece, where levels frequently reached alarming levels.
Article @ http://www.edie.net/news/news_story.asp?id=10087&channel=0
Source: EDIE News, 10 June 2005, By Sam Bond


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