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Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) are a class ofhuman-made chemical compounds that contain only fluorine, carbon and hydrogen. They are commonly used as replacements for ozone-depleting substances (ODS), such as chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), Hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) and halons in various applications including refrigeration, fire-extinguishing, semi-conductor manufacturing and foam blowing. HFCs do not deplete the ozone layer, however they are powerful greenhouse gases.
HFCs were added to Schedule 1 of CEPA in November2005. Under subsection 90(1) of CEPA, a substance can be added to Schedule 1 of CEPA by the Governor in Council on the recommendation of the ministers of the environment and health if it is determined that a substance is entering or may enter the environment in a quantity or concentration or under conditions that:
(a) have or may have an immediate or long-term harmful effect on the environment or its biological diversity;
(b) constitute or may constitute a danger to the environment on which life depends; or
(c) constitute or may constitute a danger in Canada to human life or health.
Based on an analysis of the existing science, most notably documented in the Third Assessment Report (TAR) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and in subsequent reports including the Fifth Assessment Report (2014), there is sufficient evidence to conclude that the principal greenhouse gases namely carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perfluorocarbons (PFCs), and sulphur hexafluoride (SF6) constitute or may constitute a danger to the environment on which life depends. The addition of hydrofluorocarbons to schedule 1 of CEPA 1999 gives the Government the power to put in place a variety of preventative or control actions to control HFCs under that same Act. The reporting on releases of HFCs to the atmosphere is regulated under section 46 of CEPA and is required from large industrial and commercial facilities that meet a certain threshold for their combined emissions in CO2 equivalent of the six principal greenhouse gases.
There is more than one CAS number that applies to this group of substances.
- CEPA Schedule 1 - List of Toxic Substances - This substance has been added to the List of Toxic Substances.
- Full life cycle management of the substance (Track 2) under the Toxic Substances Management Policy
This substance is entering the environment from the following source(s):
Risk Management Tool(s)
Tool(s) developed to manage risks associated with the substance:
- Federal Halocarbon Regulations, 2003
- Environmental Code of Practice for Elimination of Fluorocarbon Emissions from Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Systems
- National Action Plan for the Environmental Control of Ozone-Depleting Substances (ODS) and their Halocarbon Alternatives (PDF; 120; KB)
- Stratospheric Ozone - Information Centre
- Canada's National Greenhouse Gas Inventory
- Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reporting Program
Substances Management Information Line
Chemicals Management Plan
Gatineau, QC K1A 0H3
Telephone: 1-800-567-1999 (in Canada) or 819-938-3232
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