Luckily, there isn't much PFBTA in the atmosphere. Although the chemical has been used for decades, the air tested in the recent study contained only 0.18 parts per trillion PFBTA by volume. Other chemicals related to PFBTA may have a similar greenhouse effect, but have not yet been studied.
PFBTA once served as an ingredient in the artificial blood substitute, Fluosol, which is no longer used. PFBTA continues to be used in electronics testing and as a heat transfer agent.
NEWS: Ozone Layer No Longer Thinning
By recognizing that PFBTA has such a potential to trap heat, manufacturers can take steps to limit the escape of the gas into the environment. Currently, no laws regulate the release of PFBTA and similar chemicals. Now that chemists have identified the threat, legislators may find justification to control PFBTA pollution.
Similar efforts slowed the release of CFCs, or chlorofluorocarbons, starting in the late 80s after a gaping hole was discovered in the ozone layer of Antarctica. Chemists realized that the hole was caused by CFCs, used in spray cans and as the coolant known by DuPont's brand name "freon." Swift legislative action banned production in many nations.