A Hole Sealed with a Hole

Gases and Atmospheric Pressure

A cloud of poison. Beautiful.

We have a funny relationship with the sky. We’ve forever wanted to claim it as our own, yet are content with tearing it apart and flying through the holes.

In the early 1980’s, the invention of aerosol sprays caused the ozone layer to become very thin over the Antarctic. [4] Aerosol sprays are a gaseous suspension of fine solid or liquid particles in a can. [4] When held under pressure, they are forced out a tiny hole into a fine spray. These convenient contraptions relied heavily on the use of chlorofluorocarbons which act as the propellant for the product. [1] It was discovered, however, that these ate away at the ozone layer [2] and were quickly banned, first by Sweden in 1978, but then by the rest of the world. [5]

“A satellite view of the status of the ozone layer over the Antarctic pole on Aug. 5. The purple and blue colors represent areas where there is the least ozone, and the yellows and reds are where there is more ozone”
– Live Science.com

In response to a question about aersol sprays and the ozone, this article says that aerosol sprays have not contained chlorofluorocarbons since the late 1970’s, [11] and instead contain other propellants that do not deplete the ozone layer. “Of course,” says the article, “just because [aerosols] aren’t depleting the ozone layer doesn’t mean they’re actually good for the environment.” They emit volatile compounds and compressed gases that contribute to smog and global warming.

Aerosols are used for everything from insecticides, to cooking oil and most of them now contain hydrocarbons and compressed gases such as nitrous oxide. Whether or not you believe in global warming, these chemicals contain organic compounds that release ozone to ground-levels, creating smog. [10] I think it’s time to shift our focus from the ozone layer to the environment. There must be other ways to use whipped cream and administer sunscreen without causing smog and global warming.

When we solve a problem, should we end all research on it and its solution? And when is something dangerous enough to ban it completely? 



1. Hiskey, David. “Aerosol Sprays do not Damage the Ozone Layer.” Today I Found Out. 2011. web. May, 2015.


2. “Aerosols and the Ozone Layer.” Antiperspirants Info. web. May, 2015.


3. “Aerosol Spray.” Discoveries in Medicine. 2015. web. May, 2015.


4. Byrd, Deborah. “This Date in Science: Sweden goes first to Ban Aerosol Sprays.” Earthsly.org. 2015. web. May, 2015.


5. Harris, Tom. “How Aerosol Cans Work.” How Stuff Works. 2015. web. May, 2015.


6. “Some Consumers are Really Getting It!” Aerosol Products.  2011. web. May, 2015.


7. “Bad Hair Day: Are Aerosols still Bad for the Ozone Layer?” Scientific American. 2008. web. May, 2015.

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/are-aerosols-still-bad/ (article used)

8. Lefton, Terry. “Aerosol Cans still Battling Ozone Stigma.” 1992. web. May, 2015.


9. “Why are Aerosol Cans bad for the Environment?” Ask.com. 2015. web. May, 2015.


Image Credits




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