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Tag: chemical

Ozone hole mystery: China insulating chemical said to be source of rise

Ozone hole mystery: China insulating chemical said to be source of rise

Science
Cut-price Chinese home insulation is being blamed for a massive rise in emissions of a gas, highly damaging to the Earth's protective ozone layer. The Environmental Investigations Agency (EIA) found widespread use of CFC-11 in China, even though the chemical was fully banned back in 2010. Scientists have been extremely puzzled by the mysterious rise in emissions. But this report suggests the key source is China's home construction industry. Just two months ago, researchers published a study showing that the expected decline in the use of CFC-11 after it was completely banned eight years ago had slowed to a crawl. There were suspicions among researchers that new supplies were being made somewhere in East Asia. Rumours were rife as...
UK wins bid for watchdog to attribute chemical attack blame

UK wins bid for watchdog to attribute chemical attack blame

World
The UK has been successful with its bid for the international chemical weapons watchdog to be able to apportion blame for attacks. The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) voted on Wednesday to support a British-led motion for the body to have the power to attribute responsibility for attacks using banned weapons in Syria.Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson had been at the OPCW's headquarters in The Hague to push for the proposal on Tuesday.Welcoming the decision, Mr Johnson said: "Chemical weapons are an affront to human dignity and have no place in the 21st century."The international community has quite rightly come together today to strengthen the ban on chemical weapons and prevent impunity for their use."The UK has led the diplomatic efforts to secur...
Mysterious rise in emissions of ozone-damaging chemical

Mysterious rise in emissions of ozone-damaging chemical

Science
Scientists have detected an unexpected rise in atmospheric levels of CFC-11, a chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) highly damaging to the ozone layer.Banned by the Montreal Protocol in 1987, CFC-11 was seen to be declining as expected but that fall has slowed down by 50% since 2012.Researchers say their evidence shows it's likely that new, illegal emissions of CFC-11 are coming from East Asia.These could hamper the recovery of the ozone hole and worsen climate change.CFC-11 is also known as trichlorofluoromethane, and is one of a number of CFCs that were initially developed as refrigerants during the 1930s. They were also used as propellants in aerosol sprays and in solvents. However, it took many decades for scientists to discover that whe...
'Obscene masquerade' as Russia denies chemical attack

'Obscene masquerade' as Russia denies chemical attack

World
Russian diplomats brought several Syrian "witnesses" - including an 11-year-old boy - to the global chemical weapons watchdog in a bid to prove chemical weapons were not used in Douma.At a joint press conference with Syrian officials at the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), the Russian diplomats accused the White Helmets humanitarian group of filming "staged videos" following the suspected attack in the Syrian city on 7 April.The Syrians claimed they did not see any evidence that a chemical attack had taken place.The briefing in the Netherlands was boycotted by the UK, France and the US and described as an "obscene masquerade".Several of the 17 Syrian eyewitnesses brought to The Hague by the Russians said they saw "no symptoms" of a chemical attack and that "ever...
Chemical weapons team finally set to enter Douma

Chemical weapons team finally set to enter Douma

World
International chemical weapons experts are set to finally enter Douma in Syria after a UN security team went in to assess the situation.Inspectors from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) will go in on Wednesday if the UN team decides "the situation is sound", according to Syria's UN ambassador, Bashar Ja'afariThey will investigate an alleged poison gas attack by the Syrian regime which is said to have killed at least 70 people.Mr Ja'afari said on Tuesday: "Today the UN security team entered Douma... in order to assess the security situation on the ground and if this United Nations security team decided that the situation is sound in Douma then the fact-finding mission will begin its work in Douma tomorrow."The Syrian government did all that it can do to facilit...