Mario Molina-A Chemist Fighting for the Environment

Mario Molina lleva el prendedor que recibió por el Premio Nobel de Química.

During the month of September, we celebrate Hispanic American heritage and culture. Mario Molina was born in Mexico City in 1943. As a young boy, he played with toy chemistry sets. He pretended his bathroom was a laboratory. When he grew up, Mario studied chemical engineering. He earned degrees from schools in the United States, Germany, and Mexico.

Mario Molina became a world-famous chemist. He discovered ways to save the ozone layer. In 1995, Mario Molina became the first Mexico-born citizen to win the Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

Mario Molina studied chemicals called chlorofluorocarbons, or CFC’s. Most of his research was done on the ozone layer, the protective shield around the Earth. He discovered that the element chlorine in CFC’s was destroying the upper atmosphere of the ozone layer. The CFCs were used in aerosol cans. In order to help protect Earth, Mario Molina began raising awareness of what he discovered through his research.  He wanted to teach people the effects of dangerous chemicals. He also wanted to make improvements to the environment to slow climate change. Mario Molina helped lawmakers introduce rules that protect the environment from harmful chemicals. This led to a worldwide ban of CFC’s and the development of safer alternatives. Mario Molina is a Hispanic American scientist who followed his passion and used his knowledge to help people. He made significant contributions to keeping the environment healthy.

What Can You Do?  Research chemicals that might be dangerous to the environment. Find out if they have an alternative.

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