F.S. Rowland, M.J. Molina, "Chlorofluoromethanes in the environment," Reviews of Geophysics and Space Physics, 13:1-35, 1975. (Cited in more than 430 publications through August 1995) Written by F. Sherwood Rowland, department of chemistry, University of California, Irvine, for the Dec. 7, 1987, issue of Current Contents.

During 1973, I proposed to the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission (AEC)-which had sponsored my radiochemical research since 1956-that we expand our investigations to trace radioactive isotopes in gas-phase laboratory experiments into an examination of the atmospheric fate of the nearly inert chlorofluoromethanes, which two years earlier had been detected in minute quantities in tropospheric air.

The actual investigations began when Mario J. Molina joined my research group as a postdoctoral research associate in 1973. Chlorofluoromethanes are inert under most atmospheric conditions, and we soon deduced that they would survive in the atmosphere for an average of 50 to 150 years before being...

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