By Jim Taylor, Editor MACS ACtion Magazine
In the early 1970s, a curious lab chemist wondered what became of the chemicals used as propellants in aerosol cans when the contents were sprayed. Roughly 20 years later, the same scientist and his associate Mario Malina shared the 1995 Nobel Prize in chemistry, the “hole in the ozone layer” became common parlance, and the general population learned about the dangers of CFC chemicals, refrigerants and solvents.
“Sherry” (F. Sherwood) Rowland died on March 10th at age 84 in California. As he and associates pursued their investigations, he became the standard-bearer for the elimination of chlorofluorocarbons in many products including automotive refrigerants. He and others quickly realized the battle would be fought in political battlegrounds, not laboratories.
His professional associates recall that he was an excellent scientist and a forthright speaker; if he had the data, he stood by it. He was equally at home in front of congressional committees or peer conferences where in each case detractors attempted to unseat his arguments. He also provided active opposition to companies which claimed a CFC ban would hurt their business.
He held a professorship at the Univ. of California, Irvine. His work and that of others led eventually to support at the highest levels of government and participation in the meetings that yielded the Montreal Protocol and other agreements.
His colleagues also report that until he was sidelined by disease late in life, Sherry Rowland continued to do scientific research. Just before his death, he had been investigating trace gasses found in human breath as a possible indicator of underlying disease. Those studies are still in their infancy but if successful could start a revolution in yet another industry.
The Mobile Air Conditioning Society’s blog has been honored as the best business to business blog in the Automotive Aftermarket by the Automotive Communications Awards and the Car Care Council Women’s Board!
When having your mobile A/C system professionally serviced, insist on proper repair procedures and quality replacement parts. Insist on recovery and recycling so that refrigerant can be reused and not released into the atmosphere.
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You can E-mail us at email@example.com or visit http://bit.ly/cf7az8 to find a Mobile Air Conditioning Society member repair shop in your area. Visit http://bit.ly/9FxwTh to find out more about your car’s mobile A/C and engine cooling system.
The 33rd annual Mobile Air Conditioning Society (MACS) Worldwide Training Conference and Trade Show, Be the Best of the Best will take place February 7-9, 2013 at the Caribe Royale, Orlando, FL.