Alternative Fluorocarbons Environmental Acceptability Study

The Alternative Fluorocarbons Environmental Acceptability study or AFEAS is a research program aimed at analysing fluorocarbons. Read on as we discuss the Alternative Fluorocarbons Environmental Acceptability Study rationale, and delve into CFCs and their alternatives below.

AFEAS had two primary goals. The first was to single out and solve uncertainties surrounding potential environmental effects of HCFCs and HFCs.

HCFCs and HFCs are used as alternatives to CFCs, which are harmful to the environment.

The second objective of the study was to aid the dissemination of reliable scientific data to the research community, the general public, the government and workers in affected industries.

It's worth noting too that the Alternative Fluorocarbons Environmental Acceptability Study is complementary to many other studies on the effects of human activities on the environment.

Over time theAlternative Fluorocarbons Environmental Acceptability Study has expanded due to the need for further research. From 1990 to 1995 11 different US companies that were involved in the study supplied over 10 million dollars in funding for the program.

The research that followed this funding was performed by independent scientists who belong to both academic and governmental institutions and look at alternatives to more harmful CFCs.

Since the completion of the AFEAS research program, the environmental properties of the alternative fluorocarbons (HCFCs/HFCs) have been more intensively and publicly scrutinized. A reliable body of data has been assembled to make sure that rational decisions are being taken on the use of the relevant compounds.

Want to learn more about environmental research?Check out our guides to the Environmental Energy Technology Division Profile , The National Energy Foundation and Geoexchange Systems to learn more about environmental research and education.

Study Observations: CFC’s and Hydrocarbons

The Alternative Fluorocarbons Environmental Acceptability Study had many observations. Before we share some of these observations, it may be helpful to define some of the key scientific elements involved. Take a look at the definitions below:

  • CFCs = gases that are commonly used in refrigerants and aerosol propellants and are made up of any compounds of chlorine, hydrogen, fluorine and carbon.
  • HCFCs = any of a class of inert compounds of chlorine, hydrogen, chlorine, fluorine and carbon, used in place of CFCs because they are less destructive to the ozone layer.
  • HFCs = similar to HCFCs.
  • Take a look at the relevant CFC and hydrocarbon observations below:

    • HCFCs and HFCs are required to allow the rapid elimination of CFCs.
    • Substantial progress has been made to phase out CFCs and reverse the trend of increasing chlorine in the earth’s atmosphere.
    • The transition from CFCs to various alternatives, including HCFCs, reduces atmospheric chlorine loading. Thus, the use of alternatives can reduce the risk of stratospheric ozone depletion.

    Testing Alternatives to CFCs

    CFCs have performed a key role in society - especially in the products and appliances we use. For instance CFCs are used in a variety of applications including air conditioning, refrigeration, energy-efficient insulation and medical products. It was deemed crucial that users of these chemicals have effective alternatives as soon as possible.

    CFC alternatives have been tested to see if they improve environmental, health and safety outcomes. The testing of alternative CFCs was thanks to 17 major chemical companies that joined together to form the Alternative Fluorocarbons Environmental Acceptability Study and the Programme for Alternative Fluorocarbon Toxicity Testing (PAFT) in collaboration with scientists and government.

    The testing substantially reduced the period of time for environmental and toxicity testing of new chemicals.

    Contact AFEAS

    Do you want to contact AFEAS? Well, there are a couple of different contact options available to you. You can email questions or comments to or if you prefer to write to them via post you can also do so to the following address:

    • AFEAS Program Office, RAND Environmental Science & Policy Center, 1200 South, Hayes Street, Arlington, VA 22202-5050 USA

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