Re: The Threat of Halon

Date:         10 Jun 97 00:34:59 
From:         jfmezei <"jfmezei"@videotron.ca.[no.spam]>
Organization: SPC
References:   1
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Chan wrote:
> So far, Halon is the most effective to extinguish  three type of fire,
> the money spent for research of Halon replacement, comparing with other
> Chlor usage than fire bottle, it's not worth.

>India, China and other
> countries still using Chlor, in very hugh amount for any other purposes

As I understand it, in the Montreal Protocol, it was decided to allow
third world countries to continue to use CFCs for a longer time period
because it was felt that refrigiration of food for disease prevention
was more important and that the hardships imposed on 3rd world countries
if they were forced to convert would be too great and refrigiration of
foods would suffer.

There were 2 options: get the richer nations to subsidize the
developping nations to help them cope with the cost of switching away
from CFCs, or allow the developping nations to continue to use CFCs for
a period long enough that conversion to the replacement of CFC would not
be such a hardship.

This does not mean that CFCs produced in 3rd world countries can legally
and freely be exported all over the world.

There are a few exemptions in rich nations. One of which are inhalers
for asthma for instance (it was felt that butane propellants would not
be a good idea, especially if the user is a smoker). If HALON on
airplanes is on that list, it does not mean that HALON will continue to
be used forever. At one point, the economics of obtaining Halon from
depleting stockpiles
(or illegally importing it) may result in a substitute product being
more cost effective.

Considering the lifetime of an aircraft, it would be interesting to see
if the aircraft manufacturers are assuming a sufficient 30 year supply
of Halon and designing fire suppression solely for Halon, or if they are
designing it in such a way that it could be switched to an alternative
product which may require a larger tank or different nozzles etc.