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New testing devices to help enforce ban on ozone-depleting gases

By Hana Namrouqa - Dec 24,2012 - Last updated at Dec 24,2012

AMMAN — The Ministry of Environment on Monday said it was training trainers at relevant institutions to use newly acquired devices that identify ozone-depleting gases used in the manufacturing of refrigerators and air conditioners.

The devices and equipment will be used to test the gases used in the manufacture of household and commercial refrigerators, air conditioners and chillers (large cooling units such as those used in central air conditioning systems).

The ministry, in cooperation with the United Nations Environment Programme, has trained 30 trainers so far from the Jordan Customs Department (JCD), the Jordan Institute for Standards and Metrology (JISM) and the chambers of commerce, Environment Ministry Spokesperson Isa Shboul said.

The trainers, in turn, will teach other employees of these institutions to use the devices, which Shboul said would help Jordan ban the import and trade of ozone-depleting gases and encourage the import of alternative substances that do not pose threats to health or the environment.

The Kingdom is a signatory to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, an international treaty designed to protect the ozone layer by phasing out the production of a number of substances believed to be responsible for ozone depletion.

Shboul noted that the ministry had purchased the testing devices as part of a grant from the Multilateral Fund for the Implementation of the Montreal Protocol and distributed them to the JCD and JISM.

Jordan has phased out all central cooling systems using chlorofluorocarbons (CFC), which damage the ozone layer. A total of 1,500 tonnes of CFCs were phased out by replacing central cooling systems using CFCs in 165 institutions.

CFCs damage the ozone layer by reducing its ability to absorb ultraviolet rays and allowing them to penetrate into the atmosphere, thus threatening life on Earth, according to experts.

The Ministry of Environment last year launched a national strategy for phasing out hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFC), which also cause ozone depletion.

There are around 1,600 institutions in the Kingdom with central cooling systems that use HCFCs, which are compounds made up of hydrogen, chlorine, fluorine and carbon atoms that were created in the 1980s as substitutes for CFCs for use in refrigeration and a wide variety of manufacturing processes.

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