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Thread: R123 Toxicity

  1. #1
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    R123 Toxicity


    Does anyone have experience with the publicized "hepa-toxicity" of Trane's R123? I am trying to design a new large chiller plant and want to ensure that this doesn't come back to bite me. I would obviously have all of the appropriate refrig monitoring and exhaust fans to clear the space...Any help or advice is appreciated.



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    Re: R123 Toxicity

    I've heard of similar concerns regarding R123 toxicity. Have you considered R601a instead?

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    Re: R123 Toxicity

    Colorless, volatile liquid with ethereal and faint sweetish odor. Non-flammable material. Overexposure may cause dizziness and loss of concentration. At higher levels, CNS depression and cardiac arrhythmia may result from exposure. Vapors displace air and can cause asphyxiation in confined spaces. At higher temperatures, (>250C), decomposition products may include Hydrochloric Acid (HCI), Hydrofluoric Acid (HF) and carbonyl halides.
    POTENTIAL HEALTH HAZARDS
    SKIN: Prolonged and/or repeated contact with this solvent can cause irritation of the skin (defatting of skin).
    EYES: Irritant. Liquid contact will irritate and may cause conjunctivitis.
    INHALATION: When oxygen levels in air are reduced to 12-14% by displacement, symptoms of asphyxiation, loss of coordination, increased pulse rate and deeper respiration will occur. Overexposure to vapors may cause temporary anesthetic effects such as dizziness, headache and confusion. At higher levels, cardiac arrhythmia may occur.
    In repeated exposure tests with animals, changes were noted in liver functions and lipid production at levels above 100 ppm.
    INGESTION: Discomfort due to volatility would be expected. Some of the inhalation effects could be expected.

    At 30 ppm and above, benign testicular tumors developed in a statistically significant number of male animals at or near the end of the study. At 1000 ppm and above, benign pancreatic tumors were also seen in males. Retinal atrophy was increased in the test animals. Liver tumors were found in test animals at concentrations at and above 300 ppm. None of the effects were life threatening or life shortening.
    In isolated instances, some workers overexposed to HCFC-123, were found to have elevated liver enzymes. The liver enzyme levels returned to normal when the worker overexposure ceased.
    Last edited by NoNickName; 23-07-2010 at 07:45 AM.

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    Re: R123 Toxicity

    R-123 has low toxicity. Its allowable exposure limit.The surface area of the hepa filter may be 50 times its face area.Do check it out.

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    Re: R123 Toxicity

    At 30 ppm and above, benign testicular tumors developed in a statistically significant number of male animals at or near the end of the study.
    I must say, I'd not have the testicular fortitude to try this refrigerant.
    Innovator, IP trader - Rarefied Technologies
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    Re: R123 Toxicity

    hi berty89, to clear the air< lol<
    as we all know the atmosphear is made up of 80% nitrogen + 20 % oxygen < aprox< so ANY OTHER ingreediant is not normal < give or take 1%< although I have in the last 40 years swallowed cancer giving gasses, < but only in small amounts< up to 20% so to-days message is only breath fresh air.
    sedgy

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    Re: R123 Toxicity

    We used this R123 on the York Centrifugal Chillers after R11 was gone,so far i know just u need a good ventilation systems and use safety mask when u working on this systems, is lot of discussion about this freon so u better keep always safe

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    Re: R123 Toxicity

    No refrigerant is good for you. With low leakage rates of low pressure chillers you shouldn't really be concerned about it.
    As far as servicing this equipment. Remove the refrigerant, break vacuum with nitrogen, run your vacuum pump to a deep vacuum and break with nitrogen. Not even a wiff of 123 in the machine after that.
    One advantage to 123 is that the refrigerant charge is typically 1/2 of a 134a chiller.
    All machine rooms with any significant charge of refrigerant must have ventillation.

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    Re: R123 Toxicity

    Here is a link to a good web site (afeas.org/paft) which provides the official toxicity test results that were conducted on R-134a and R-123 at the time our industry was worried about the use of these new refrigerants (versus R12 and R11). Take a look at them and you will see that the results were the same and both R-134a and R-123 test show sign of benign tumours. Unfortunatelly people have been quick in transforming the word "benign tumour" into cancer which caused confusion in our industry. The AEL limits set for the refrigerants are simply an indication of long term toxicity due to continuous exposure (8 hours a day) but they are not an indication of the relative safety of the refrigerants As BekTek said, No refrigerant is good for you. Since refrigerants are heavier than air, the big danger is asphyxiation in case of a massive leak. This is why we need to have ventilation and refrigerant monitors in plant room. Irrespective of R-134a or R-123, in case of massive leak you will get to the AEL numbers very very fast (few seconds). We use Trane R-123 in our plants and some R-134a as well and we are very happy with the R-123 (low pressure and low leakages and very good efficiencies).

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    Re: R123 Toxicity

    When i worked for johnson controls in 1993 when this gas first came out thay said that we were not to work with it so it cant be good .But there is alot of chillers with 123 in them.We have it in our trane unit.

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