Policy Forum

An Environmental Rationale for Retention of Endangered Chemicals

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Science  07 Nov 1997:
Vol. 278, Issue 5340, pp. 1090-1091
DOI: 10.1126/science.278.5340.1090

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Some chemicals that are slated for phaseout to protect the stratospheric ozone layer offer offsetting benefits for addressing global warming. Analyses show that for chemicals with short atmospheric lifetimes and high efficiencies, the environmental benefits significantly outweigh the concerns. Because elimination of such chemicals causes more harm than good, the authors argue for integrated assessments--and avoidance of piecemeal and overly simplistic approaches--in environmental regulations.