This Lifesaver Shouldn't Be Hostage To The Ozone Scare

The remarks by Paul Craig Roberts in "What's flying out the ozone hole? Billions of dollars" (Economic Viewpoint, June 13) could be strengthened by a key argument: Phasing out chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) is not just a question of dollars, it's also a question of lives.

The reason is the fire-extinguishing chemical Halon, which is a CFC. Halon would disappear completely and already has done so in most European countries. Halon is indispensable in fires on airplanes, ships, or in other places where fire must be extinguished quickly and people are present. (Halon is not poisonous, which does not apply to carbon dioxide.) Halon is also useful in complicated technical installations where access is difficult. To my knowledge, nothing has been found so far to be a valid replacement for Halon.

Reinhard Budde

Begnins, Switzerland

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