The Michelson Interferometer for Passive Atmospheric Sounding onboard ENVISAT (MIPAS-E) offers the opportunity to detect and spectrally resolve many atmospheric minor constituents affecting atmospheric chemistry. In this paper, we describe an algorithm produced to retrieve HCFC–22 profiles from MIPAS-E measurements made in 2003 and present results from this scheme between 300 and 50 mb. By comparison with ATMOS (AT–3) version 3 data, we find a mean Northern Hemisphere midlatitude (20–50 N) HCFC–22 growth rate between 1994 and 2003 of 5.4±0.7 pptv/yr in the lower stratosphere (LS) and a mean LS Southern Hemisphere growth rate (60–80 S) of 6.0±0.7 pptv/yr in the same period. We test the feasibility of using a global data set to estimate the chemical lifetime of HCFC–22 in the LS and we derive this for two regions: 20– 50 N (246±38 years) and 60–80 S (274±34 years). From these data we note a global LS lifetime of 260±25 years, significantly longer than previous estimates.