Chlorine and the environment: A dialogue of the deaf

The chlor-alkali industry is losing markets as environmental regulators tighten their grip on CFCs, chlorinated solvents and discharges from the pulp and paper industry. The industry is facing more grief as a Greenpeace campaign to outlaw all chlorine production gathers steam. The group is being criticised for treating all organochlorines as pollutants without adequate evidence - but in focussing on the benefits of its products the industry has yet to build a credible response.

At a conference in Monte Carlo in October, 500 senior representatives of the chlor-alkali industry gathered in a waterfront hotel to discuss the industry's environmental problems. Outside, the Greenpeace ship Sirius sailed to and fro trailing banners proclaiming "Chlorine Kills - Ban PVC".

This symbol of an industry under siege is an accurate one. Until recently, the environmental problems caused by organochlorines had been addressed in a

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