The Environmental Protection Agency is complaining that R12 refrigerant is bad for the ozone layer because it has strong, dangerous chemicals in it. The EPA is making the manufacturers of R12 refrigerant (or what some people call R12 Freon) make a new refrigerant with less dangerous chemicals called 134a. This new chemical is better for the ozone layer because it doesn't have a lot of bad chemicals and won't eat away at the ozone layer. This means all the R12 units we have will have to be changed to put 134a in them. They are going to stop making R12 by 1997. Once we run out of it, we can't get anymore. This means all your refrigerators, air conditioners and cars are going to have to be changed over to put 134a in them. If you buy a new car, air conditioner or refrigerator, they will have 134a. There are kits which change R12 units over to 134a units. They cost about four hundred to five hundred dollars. This process is going to be expensive, but we have to save the ozone layer. u
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.