Ozone depleting substances (ODS)

What are ozone depleting substances?

Ozone depleting substances (ODSs) are those substances which deplete the ozone layer and are widely used in refrigerators, airconditioners, fire extinguishers, in dry cleaning, as solvents for cleaning, electronic equipment and as agricultural fumigants.

Ozone depleting substances controlled by Montreal Protocol include:

  • Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs)
  • Halon
  • Carbon tetrachloride (CCl4), Methyl chloroform (CH3CCl3)
  • Hydrobromofluorocarbons (HBFCs)
  • Hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs)
  • Methyl bromide (CH3Br)
  • Bromochloromethane (CH2BrCl)

There are other ozone depleting substances, but their ozone depleting effects are very small in comparison to these controlled substances.

The Commonwealth Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Management Act 1989 controls the manufacture, import and export of these ozone depleting substances in Australia.

All bulk imports of these substances (except HCFCs and methyl bromide) are banned into Australia. See Legislation and Regulations: Ozone and Synthetic Greenhouse Gases.

Alternatives to ODS

Methyl bromide alternatives

The methyl bromide Alternatives Information System (MBAIS) can help you to identify alternatives to methyl bromide use as a general purpose fumigant. It contains information on methyl bromide alternatives for quarantine and pre-shipment and non-quarantine uses being researched or used in Australia, and/or used internationally.

ICON is AQIS's import conditions database. It contains the Australian import conditions for more than 20,000 plant, animal, microbial, mineral and human products.

USA SNAP (Significant New Alternatives Policy)

The USA EPA (Significant New Alternatives Policy) program provides extensive information on alternatives to ozone depleting substances.

Inventory of Trade Names of Chemical Products Containing Ozone Depleting Substances and their Alternatives

The United Nations Environment Programme' has developed a useful database called the 'Inventory of Trade Names of Chemical Products Containing Ozone Depleting Substances and their Alternatives’.  The database lists all the trade names of ozone depleting substances, and also provides information on alternatives commercially available.

You may access the database from the United Nations Environment Programme’s website: