The environmental damage of carnival foams
Most artificial foams used during the carnival contain a chemical compound called hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFC), which depletes the ozone layer and causes global warming. Each container of Rey Momo, which is the most sold brand of foams in Bolivia and Peru, contains 8 grams of HCFC-22, which stays in the atmosphere for an average of 12 years, but the production of HCFC-22 emits another gas called hydrofluorocarbon-23 that has even more greenhouse effect and stays in the atmosphere for 222 years. We estimate that the 8 grams of HCFC-22 in each Rey Momo container and the 0.16 grams of HFC-23 emitted in its production will destroy 15 kilograms of ozone in the atmosphere and have the same greenhouse effect as 44 kilos of carbon dioxide in a term of 20 years or burn 19 liters of gasoline.
All importation and sale of foams containing fluorine gas must be prohibited. The lack of regulation of the sale of carnival foams with HCFC-22 is an indication of a more extensive problem in Bolivia. There is little control of the fluorine gases that detach the ozone layer and / or cause global warming. According to data from the National Climate Change Program (2009), 2.37 tons of these gases were emitted per capita in Bolivia in 2004. Since that time, the import of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) has been eliminated, but the import of HFCs and HCFCs have increased rapidly in recent years. Bolivia does not have a program to recycle these gases, so the fluorine gas in refrigerators, freezers and air conditioners will eventually escape into the atmosphere and cause more greenhouse effect, But these gases will be used for years as refrigerants. Instead, the HCFC-22 in carnival foams are used only for a fun time before causing years of damage to the environment.