View Full Version : R32 the hidden dangers besides A2L Flammability

03-06-2017, 09:36 AM
Hi all
R32 has now been launched on us with all the manufacturers singing its praises and hiking the prices of refrigerants to force us to use this refrigerant. (Is it just to get around quota on imports?)

R32 is difluoromethane (methylene fluoride) and it is an HFC type refrigerant. R32 has been used for many years as a component of both R407C and R410A. It is flammable on its own, but not when mixed with the other components of these blends. There is a plethora of blends being launched R448A and Leonardo DiCaprio's favourite, R458A.

Flammability aside - Yes it burns don't believe the bull! Is heavier than air and will pool!

The real danger is to us guys out in the field because at some point you will be carrying out hot works with this refrigerant coming out of the system. As is the case with all fluorinated refrigerants, R32 will decompose and produce toxic byproducts such as hydrogen fluoride and carbon dioxide when burnt.

Hydrogen fluoride is a highly dangerous gas, forming corrosive and penetrating hydrofluoric acid upon contact with moisture. The gas can also cause blindness by rapid destruction of the corneas.
Upon contact with moisture, including tissue, hydrogen fluoride immediately converts to hydrofluoric acid, which is highly corrosive and toxic, and requires immediate medical attention upon exposure. Breathing in hydrogen fluoride at high levels or in combination with skin contact can cause death from an irregular heartbeat or from fluid buildup in the lungs.

For all of us working with refrigerants safety goggles should be a minimum but when brazing with systems charged with R32 and its blends. You should be wearing a disposable mask rated for hydrogen fluoride.
like: 3M 9906 Hydrogen Fluoride Respirators

Time we all got onto our employers to supply the correct safety gear if they want us to work with hazardous chemicals to ensure our safety and that they have an employee available to work for them.

03-06-2017, 10:05 AM
What a brilliant Post Hookster.
Having sustained years of book readers dictating what I should and shouldn't do in the course of carrying out my Job.
I have begun to realise that if I decide that something like Methylene fluoride is unsafe for me.
I can raise my concerns and Health and Safety Guys will be all over it.

I used to work at a Iseon Manufacturing site where derivatives of this stuff were made.
We were scared of it then and that was before the H&S blanket was available.

Thanks for the "Heads Up".

Rep point awarded.

03-06-2017, 10:06 AM
Thanks hookster for that info, I dont do AC, only refrigeration but now I will sure stay away from that R-32.

monkey spanners
18-06-2017, 01:42 PM
Thanks Hookster for the heads up, remember being told something similar on the F Gas course but thought it was the 1234hf and 1234yf refrigerants.
Will look into the respirators you mentioned. Sadly my refrigerant choices will be dictated by the manufacturer, plus not much choice if its maintenance call to something installed by others.

19-06-2017, 09:31 AM
Thank You Hookster.
Appreciate you posting this info.

27-06-2017, 11:19 AM
Thank you Hookster,
Great insight into the potential health problems.

30-06-2017, 03:30 PM
Thanks for the info hookster. What has happened to health and safety. Why do they think it is okay to put potential bombs in peoples homes and businesses. Have they learnt nothing from Grenfell Towers.

08-10-2017, 09:36 AM
It's all HFC and HCFC and CFC. It's not just R32 that will produce Hydrofluoric acid. All fridge and ac engineers should know this. Check the facts.

08-10-2017, 02:02 PM
It's all HFC and HCFC and CFC. It's not just R32 that will produce Hydrofluoric acid. All fridge and ac engineers should know this. Check the facts.
As was stated in the original post. Check you read everything. :confused: