One of a class of compounds used primarily as a CFC substitute. Work on CFC alternatives began in the late 1970s after the first warnings of CFC damage to stratospheric ozone. By adding hydrogen to the chemical formulation, chemists made CFCs less stable in the lower atmosphere enabling them to break down before reaching the ozone layer. However, HCFCs do release chlorine and have contributed more to atmospheric chlorine buildup than originally predicted. Development of non-chlorine based chemical compounds as a substitute for CFCs and HCFCs continues.