The Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) Program is EPA's program to evaluate and regulate substitutes for the ozone-depleting chemicals that are being phased out under the stratospheric ozone protection provisions of the Clean Air Act (CAA).
In Section 612(c) of the Clean Air Act, the Agency is authorized to identify and publish lists of acceptable and unacceptable substitutes for class I or class II ozone-depleting substances.
The Administrator has determined a large number of alternatives exist that reduce overall risk to human health and the environment. The purpose of the program is to allow a safe, smooth transition away from ozone-depleting compounds by identifying substitutes that offer lower overall risks to human health and the environment.
The SNAP program has reviewed substitutes for the following eight categories listed below.
Visit the Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) Program Website to Learn More.
Refrigeration and Air Conditioning
Refrigeration and air conditioning end-uses typically use a refrigerant in a vapor compression cycle to cool and/or dehumidify a substances or space, like a refrigerator cabinet, room, office building, or warehouse.
Foam Blowing Agents
Foam blowing agents encompasses a wide variety of applications including refrigerators buildings, automobiles, furniture, packaging and many more. The blowing agent, which was typically an ODS, is used to propel liquid plastic resin, and in the case of foam used for insulation, functions as an insulating component of the foam. The ODS blowing agent family consists of CFC-11, CFC-12, CFC-114, HCFC-22, HCFC-141b, and HCFC-142b.
Cleaning solvents are used to remove oil, grease, solder flux, and other contaminants. In the SNAP program, the “cleaning solvent” sector refers to substitutes for non-aerosol solvents used in industrial cleaning in vapor degreasing, cold batch cleaning, or automated cleaning equipment. SNAP does not currently cover dry cleaning, manual cleaning with non-aerosol solvents, non-aerosol mold release agents, or component testing agents. SNAP reviews alternatives for ozone-depleting cleaning solvents such as CFC-113 and methyl chloroform.
Fire Suppression and Explosion Protection
Fire suppression and explosion protection have used halons in many applications because they are electrically non-conductive, dissipate rapidly without residue, are safe for limited human exposure, and are extremely efficient in extinguishing most types of fires. Because of their strong ozone depletion potential, the Montreal Protocol required the earliest production and import phase-out of halons in the U.S. in 1994.
Aerosols are substances stored under pressure and then released as a suspension of particles in air.
Sterilants kill microorganisms on medical equipment and devices. SNAP reviews for alternatives to blends of 88% CFC-12 and 12% ethylene oxide, known as "12/88." In that blend, ethylene oxide sterilizes the equipment and CFC-12 is a diluent solvent to form a non-flammable blend.
Tobacco expansion is the process of puffing leaves of tobacco to decrease the volume of tobacco used in cigarette production. SNAP has identified alternatives to CFC-11 for tobacco expansion.
Adhesives, Coatings & Inks
Adhesives, coatings, and inks traditionally contain solid components that are suspended in a solvent, spread over a surface and bond to it, and then allow the solvent to evaporate. Prior to the Montreal Protocol, the ozone-depleting substance methyl chloroform was often used as the carrier solvent in adhesives, coatings, and inks.