Earthworks Ztc


September 22, 1990|By John Javna | John Javna,The EarthWorks Group

The ozone layer, which protects us from the sun's harmful ultraviolet rays, is disappearing at an alarming rate. Unless we do something about it now, that thin shield that makes life on Earth possible may be irrevocably damaged. This isn't just a scare tactic -- it's a call to arms. You need to act if you want to protect your children and all future generations.

Don't underestimate your power. According to the Natural Resources Defense Council: "In 1975, a schoolchild's letter to the chairman of Johnson Wax, and the public attention that letter received, led the nation's fifth largest maker of aerosols to break with the industry and announce that it would stop using CFCs in aerosol cans. Fifteen-hundred consumers wrote the company to applaud that decision. More important to the company, thousands of consumers probably bought Johnson's products over the competition's, because of the company's 'No CFCs' label."

Last week I mentioned CFCs as a source of ozone depletion. Here's another type of chemical to add to the list: halons. These have the same effect as CFCs but haven't gotten as much attention. Where will you find them? In many home fire extinguishers. Check yours; if it contains halon, it will say so. Unfortunately, the ozone-depleting contents of a halon fire extinguisher eventually leak into the air, even if you never have a fire.

What can you do?

Don't buy halon extinguishers for your home. As the NRDC says, "Traditional types of fire extinguishers will do the job."

Inform the managers of your local hardware stores about halon fire extinguishers.

Write to the companies that manufacture halons and demand that they stop manufacturing them. Their addresses:

Mr. Edgar S. Woolard Jr., President, E.I. duPont de Nemours & Co. Inc., 1007 Market St., Wilmington, Del. 19898.

Dr. Bernard Lochtenberg, Chairman, ICI Americas Inc., Rollings Building, 10th Floor, Wilmington, Del. 19897.

Mr. Emerson Kampen, President, Great Lakes Chemical Corp., P.O. Box 2200, West Lafayette, Ind. 47906.

You might send me a copy of your letters, too. I'd love to see what you have to say.

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