Aerosols from spray bottles were originally bad for the environment because they contained chlorofluorocarbons (CFC’s), which destroyed the ozone layer over Antarctica. Now, aerosols from spray bottles do not contain CFC’s, but there is still an environmental effect. When enough aerosol enter the air in a certain area, usually from industrial processes, the aerosols can disrupt weather patterns, such as causing the lack of rain in China.
Aerosol spray cans are not as bad as they used to be. In the past they often used CFCs (chlorofluorocarbons) as a propellant, which would eventually be released into the atmosphere and contribute to ozone depletion. However, since the EPA’s actions to limit the uses of CFC in the 1990’s, less-harmful alternative propellants have been introduced instead. Currently, the only problem with aerosol cans is that they are made of steel and often not recycled. More than 3 billion steel aerosol cans are produced in the U.S. annually; if not recycled, steel takes between 80 and 100 years to decompose in a landfill.
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