Fluoride Action Network

Ozone Destroyers & Greenhouse Gases

Fluoride Action Network | March 27, 2019 | By Ellen Connett

Source of Information:

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency manages the Toxic Release Inventory1 (commonly known as TRI) which was created in 1986 to provide the public with information about releases of toxic chemicals in their community. It is an essential tool for information on chemicals by city, zip code, state, or year. The Fluoride Action Network has collected and presented the data from the TRI on all fluoride chemicals here.

Why should we be interested in exposure to fluoride?

Common exposures to fluoride are from:

  • Fluoridated public drinking water
  • Infant formula made with fluoridated water
  • Toothpaste with fluoride, especially for children under six years of age
  • Fumigation of processed food, warehoused food, and grains with Sulfuryl fluoride4
  • Food grown with the pesticide Cryolite – see below.

Three things to know about Cryolite:

  • This is the pesticide that is primarily responsible for the fluoride contamination of our vegetables, fruits, fruit drinks, and wine.
  • For decades regulatory agencies got away with the worst type of risk assessment for this pesticide and as a consequence cryolite was given a free pass.
  • You can avoid exposure to fluoride residues from cryolite by buying organic or growing your own food.

Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) are Ozone Depleters.

CFC production began in the 1930s for the purpose of refrigeration. CFCs & HCFCs are man-made compounds containing chlorine, fluorine, and carbon. They are not found anywhere in nature.

“Fluorine radicals combine to form hydrogen fluoride (HF) and other stable compounds that do not affect the ozone layer.” However, HF is needed to make most ozone depleting gases.

There are eight fluorinated Ozone Depleters used in the U.S. in contravention of the Montreal Protocol, which the U.S. ratified in 1988.

According to the Montreal Protocol:

  • Bromochlorodifluoromethane (Halon 1211) – not to be used or produced after 1994
  • Bromotrifluoromethane (Halon 1301) – not to be used or produced after 1994
  • Chlorotrifluoromethane (CFC 13) – not to be used or produced after 1996
  • Dichlorodifluoromethane (CFC 12) – not to be used or produced after 1996
  • Dichlorotetrafluoroethane (CFC 114) – not to be used or produced after 1996
  • Trichlorotrifluoroethane (Freon 113, CFC 113) – not to be used or produced after 1996
  • Monochloropentafluoroethane  (CFC-115) – not to be used or produced after 1996
  • Trichlorofluoromethane (CFC 11) – not to be used or produced after 1996

Hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) are potent greenhouse gases and may also be ozone depleters.

HCFC production began to take off after countries agreed to phase out the use of CFCs in the 1980s, which were found to be destroying the ozone layer. Like CFCs, HCFCs are used for refrigeration, aerosol propellants, foam manufacture and air conditioning.

Health Effects. The following eleven fluorinated substances in TRI, listed below, have been identified as suspected neurotoxicants.

  • 1,1-Dichloro-1-fluoroethane (HCFC-141b, Freon-141)
  • 3-Chloro-1,1,1-trifluoropropane (HCFC-253fb, Freon 253)
  • Bromochlorodifluoromethane (Halon 1211, Freon 12B1)
  • Bromotrifluoromethane (Halon 1301, Freon 13B1)
  • Chlorodifluoromethane (HCFC 22, Freon 22)
  • Dichlorodifluoromethane (CFC-12, Freon 12)
  • Dichlorofluoromethane (HCFC 21, Freon 21)
  • Dichlorotetrafluoroethane (CFC 114)
  • Freon 113 (Trichlorotrifluoroethane, CFC 113)
  • Monochloropentafluoroethane  (CFC-115)
  • Trichlorofluoromethane (CFC 11)

The Top 5 HCFCs & CFC’s according to the waste they create in there manufacture:



Waste created in 2015

Year the most
waste was created

Freon 113 (Trichlorotrifluoroethane)


339,923,699 pounds

In 2015


+ Ozone depleter

10,830,052 pounds

55,561,413 pounds – 2000


+ Ozone depleter

3,864,590 pounds

11,006,911 pounds – 2000


+ Ozone depleter

4,733,191 pounds

5,511,368 pounds – 2013

Dichlorotetrafluoroethane (CFC 114)


3,235,893 pounds

6,665,232 pounds – 2011

What happens to the millions of pounds of fluoride emitted annually in the U.S.?

It is the fate of these industrial releases that we need to be concerned about as they pollute our bodies, air, water, soil, and wildlife.

In 1998, Environment Canada collected fluoride samples in foliage and soil in Cornwall, Ontario, and reported very high levels of fluoride in both8. Cornwall is approximately five miles downwind of two aluminum smelters located in Massena NY. The Canadian results demonstrate that fluoride deposits in areas surrounding fluoride-emitting industries, especially during rain or snow.

A source of exposure for young children is their tendency to put objects into their mouth. Education in areas surrounding fluoride-emitting industries should include the message that children’s toys should not be left outside and to those with veggie gardens, fruit trees or berries, wash food before eating.

EPA pushed a potent Greenhouse Gas in 2004 as a substitute for a potent Ozone Depleter to be the major fumigant for processed food, grains, and other post-harvest food.

EPA fought hard to replace the ozone-depleting Methyl Bromide with Sulfuryl fluoride as the major fumigant used on food, grains, other post-harvest food, and all processed foods. In the animal studies performed by Dow Chemical, Sulfuryl fluoride was highly toxic to the animal brain. It is also widely used to fumigate pests & termites. Research has shown that Sulfury fluoride can be as much as 4,000 times more efficient at trapping heat than carbon dioxide, the leading atmospheric contributor to climate change.

Hydrogen fluoride (HF) is a major industrial emission

and coal-burning plants pump out the most HF of any industry in the U.S. HF was included in the first TRI list in 1988 (273 substances). The 2015 TRI contains 499 substances.


  1. See https://iaspub.epa.gov/triexplorer/tri_release.chemical