Forbes writes that Facebook's Marketplace is one of the sources for gases, such as hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), for those that want to use them for various reasons, despite the potential environmental risks that come with these transactions.

Avipsa Mahapatra, climate campaign director at the NGO Environmental Investigation Agency, said that "this is not nitpicking on a small, little thing that nobody cares about. It is lucrative, and the criminal trade was rampant in the ‘90s."

A quick search on Facebook Marketplace in New York or California showcases that there are hundreds of sellers posting dangerous refrigerant chemicals, and prices can vary from 280 to 380 USD per canister.

One seller in New York who asked to be kept under anonymity said that "everyone is trying to sell them because in a little while they’re not even going to be useful."

A legislation set in place by US officials in 2020 mandated that HFCs should be reduced by 85% by 2036 and this year is the first serious landmark in the mission to cut down on these polluting gases.

The situation isn't necessarily better in Europe, either, as on the continent, the illegal trade of refrigerant gases represents 20-30% of the total amount legally traded. While HFC gases don't destroy our ozone layer, they still pose an environmental threat, as they are hundreds of times more powerful than carbon dioxide emissions.

Studying the smuggling of refrigerant gases in Europe, researchers discovered that the prices rose by anywhere from five to nine times when they were initially banned and the small penalties can encourage illegal trades.

"The money to be made is astronomical. You are very unlikely to get caught, and if you get caught your penalty will be very small. So, it is better than drugs", said Fionnuala Walravens, a researcher at EIA.

Authorities will need to find better ways to label legal HFCs, as the small containers they are usually stored in can easily be mislabeled and authorities can't yet demand the use of QR codes to find the source of these gases.