Ever since the Montreal Protocol in 1989, the use of CFCs has steadily gone down in aerosols. This has helped the ozone recover and make it a secondary environmental issue compared with the mega-issue that is global warming. However, this is a false sense of security as many people do not quite understand how CFCs are being eliminated, and many people still use aerosols when they should.
There are several reasons not to use aerosols, and my wife and I have banned them as part of Our Green Year. Here are just a few reasons as to why:
- Ounce for ounce, spray on product sold in aerosol cans is about
twice the cost of bulk product. You pay for propellants in every
aerosol can (10 to 15 percent by weight).
- Carbon dioxide,
propane and butane are commonly used aerosol propellants that are also
“greenhouse gases” that contribute to global warming and smog
- Aerosol cans of solvent-based brake cleaners
contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that contribute to ozone and
smog formation and harm worker’s health.
- Used aerosol cans
that are not empty may be considered hazardous waste. Under the federal
Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), aerosol cans may only be
recycled or disposed of as non-hazardous wastes if they have been
emptied through normal use or punctured and drained to remove
significant liquids. (Shops are responsible for properly managing any
captured wastes recovered from puncturing and draining.)
Aerosols are not needed in our society. If you have deodorant, you can easily get by with buying natural stick deodorant, rather than aerosol deodorant. Do you have PAM in your house? Stop using it because that is an aerosol.
There was a time when the term aerosol was a bad word. People would shy away from using them because they would be seen as environmentally-unfriendly. However, as climate change becomes the hot button issue of the future, millions of people are now going back to aerosol because it is no longer seen as a danger. The ozone is finally recovering, and many aerosols are not going to be free of CFCs until between 2010 and 2020. As a result, avoid the use of aerosols at all costs to protect planet Earth.