Fire Prevention & Protection

Halon Replacement: Water Mist Fire Extinguishing Systems

Issue 1 and Volume 161.

BY RONALD R. SPADAFORA In the early 1980s, it was confirmed that the earth’s ozone layer was being depleted. Although it makes up a small percentage of the atmosphere, the ozone layer is nonetheless essential to all living things. Located mostly in the stratosphere, the ozone layer protects us from the sun’s ultraviolet medium wave (UVB) light, which can be harmful to humans (can be a factor in skin cancer), crops, and marine ecosystems. In 1987, the international document “Montreal Protocol on Substances That Deplete the Ozone Layer” was adopted to protect the ozone layer. Originally, 25 countries, including the United States, signed the Protocol. Eighty countries signed it when it was amended in 1990. More and more countries have been adopting it in a worldwide attempt to protect the environment. A provision of the Protocol was to ban the use of halogenated hydrocarbons (halons), valuable fire extinguishing agents, because…

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