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27.07.2005 General News

EPA bans ozone-depleting chemicals


Sunyani (B/A) July 27, GNA - The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has banned all imports of Chlorofluorocarbon (CFCs) manufactured refrigerants as the country recovers from the depleting state of the ozone layer.

The Agency has also ordered a ban on other chemicals like halons used in fire fighting and Methylchlorofluom, also used as solvent and other materials.

Mr. Emmanuel Osae-Quansah, National Ozone Project Coordinator of the Agency who announced this at a seminar organised by the Brong Ahafo Regional Office of EPA in Sunyani said, in line with this, the Agency had impounded 30.3 tones of cylinders to rid the markets of illegal and mislabelled refrigerants.

He explained that such human-made chemicals rising up to the atmosphere were damaging the ozone layer resulting in increase in skin cancer, damage to certain crops as well as increase in carbon dioxide concentrations.

Mr. Osae-Quansah indicated that the ozone layer absorbed most of the harmful ultraviolet emanated from the sun, adding the damage to the layer would allow UV-B radiation to reach the earth, which would be disastrous. The Project Coordinator expressed the hope that by 2010 the total consumption of chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) and other chemicals used in manufacturing refrigerants and which is an ozone-depleting substance, would be got rid of the country.

Earlier Mr. Isaac Osei, Regional Programme Officer of EPA, explained that the ozone layer is a layer of gas in the earth's upper atmosphere that protects all living things on earth and called for intensive public education and pragmatic approaches to halt the depletion of the ozone.

Mr. Joseph Abanor Sam, Regional Head of the Survey Department, who presided, asked all Ghanaians to become ambassadors and together fight against human activities that lead to the depletion of the ozone layer.