Compressed Air Dusters Should Be Blown Away
The Sightline Institute has some revealing information on those handy computer air dusters. You might have used one of these things at some point in your life to clean your computer innards; more nefarious uses include making cool 'ice rods' in a sink of water by upending it, and making a compressed air gun. Oh, these things are versatile.
Turns out the contents are also horribly bad for the environment. Some of them use 100 percent tetrafluoroethane, a known greenhouse gas that is roughly 3,300 times more effective at trapping heat than carbon dioxide. Nice. So, according to Eric De Place, a 10-ounce can of cleaner will have the same climate-changing effect over the next 20 years as burning at least 100 gallons of gasoline. That's one can. The other common gas in these things is difluoroethane, which has about 10% of the impact as other variety. Eric states that that is still about 330 times the impact of CO2.
Further irony is that gas dusters are often billed are safe for the environment, citing that they are 100% ozone safe, with no CFCs or HCFCs. These statements are in fact true, but skirt the issue of climate change.
It's obvious that these dusters are yet another technology, like portable yogurt or plastic bags, that we can do without. The hunt for the perfect duster has begun, and Giotto's Rocket (pictured above) has received excellent reviews. If you are a big shop or need to blow a lot of air around on a regular basis, you probably should be using an air compressor.