Any of several organic compounds containing carbon , fluorine , chlorine , and hydrogen .
A number of different CFCs have been made and sold under the trade name Freon . Developed in the 1930s, these halogenated hydrocarbon s were widely used as refrigerants and aerosol propellants and in other applications because they are nontoxic and nonflammable and readily evaporate and condense. However, CFCs released into the atmosphere rise into the stratosphere, where solar radiation breaks them down; the chlorine released reacts with ozone , depleting the ozone layer . In 1992 most developed countries agreed to end CFC production by 1996; 1997 production, weighted according to the ozone depletion potential of each CFC, was 10% of peak (1988) production.