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  1. #1
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    How toxic are refrigerants?



    I know that Class A refrigerants are supposedly non toxic. But how toxic are they? Are refrigerants any more toxic than any other inert gas, such as helium or nitrogen? Also, what would happen if an AC system blew the evaporator coil and suddenly released all the refrigerant into the house? Would there be any adverse health effects?



  2. #2
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    Re: How toxic are refrigerants?

    Assume any gas that dilutes normal air oxygen levels as a danger.

    There are calculations to be performed to ensure that the safe gas charge/room size concentration is in range.

    Check the MSDS for the refrigerant you are concerned about regarding toxicity.
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    Re: How toxic are refrigerants?

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian_UK View Post
    Assume any gas that dilutes normal air oxygen levels as a danger.

    There are calculations to be performed to ensure that the safe gas charge/room size concentration is in range.

    Check the MSDS for the refrigerant you are concerned about regarding toxicity.
    Thank you. Just curious- Is refrigerant any more likely to be dangerous than another inert gas, like nitrogen?

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    Re: How toxic are refrigerants?

    When oxygen in the air you breathing goes below 18%, you start to suffocate.
    The cause is irrelevant.
    It can be refrigerant or Nitrogen or any other gas.

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    Re: How toxic are refrigerants?

    Hi Cool Guy.
    I can say that refrigerants are potentially more Dangerous than Nitrogen.
    But you need to put it all into perspective.
    How many people do you know that have been injured / harmed by a contained refrigerant in a working A/C system.
    I doubt any, I as a refrigeration engineer of many years know of some who have had a scare!
    When working on a system.
    You can always make a case for something being dangerous.
    The less product knowledge you have the easier it is.
    However do you apply these same rules to the other energy sources that may exist in a given area.

    IE. Electricity, Flammable Gasses such as. Natural or Liquefied Petroleum Gas.

    Refrigerant volumes and types are carefully considered in an A/C install and the volumes that could be released.

    I must admit I am trying to work out what the purpose of your question is?
    Refrigerants and Nitrogen both replace air and therefore can cause suffocation.
    Both could be lethal if a sufficient amount is inhaled.
    But as to which is deemed more toxic is irrelevant really.
    What circumstances are you thinking of that caused you to ask?
    We don't class water as toxic but it kills!" (In the wrong Circumstances.)
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    Re: How toxic are refrigerants?

    Quote Originally Posted by chemi-cool View Post
    When oxygen in the air you breathing goes below 18%, you start to suffocate.
    The cause is irrelevant.
    It can be refrigerant or Nitrogen or any other gas.
    So the refrigerant itself isn't harmful, but the lack of oxygen is? So in that case, what would happen if a person was breathing 80% refrigerant and 20% oxygen?

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    Re: How toxic are refrigerants?

    .

    Refrigerants by their nature are not inert.

    Inert means it won't react with anything, most refrigerants
    will react. How they react does depend on the individual refrigerant.

    Most, if not all will only react under excessive temperature and the
    refrigerant will thermally decompose.

    Some of the more common refrigerants will cause a person to suffer
    irregular heartbeats and some can cause the central nervous system
    to be affected and that can cause confusion and loss of concentration.

    None of the common refrigerants are classed as toxic because they
    do not poison or have any detrimental long term effects on people
    under normal conditions.

    Rob

    .
    Last edited by Rob White; 30-05-2018 at 07:45 PM.
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    Re: How toxic are refrigerants?

    Quote Originally Posted by coolguy4 View Post
    So the refrigerant itself isn't harmful, but the lack of
    oxygen is? So in that case, what would happen if a person was breathing 80% refrigerant and 20% oxygen?
    If you have access to 6% oxygen technically you can survive but the
    refrigerant in such a large concentration would affect you in the way
    I stated above.

    Irregular heartbeats and CNS effect.

    Rob

    .
    Last edited by Rob White; 30-05-2018 at 07:48 PM.
    .. ... -. .----. - / -- --- .-. ... . / -.-. --- -.. . / --. --- --- -..

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    Re: How toxic are refrigerants?

    Maybe this will help understand effects.
    Like anything MSDS should be read & understood before using it in the perfect world.


    https://www.healthline.com/health/re...ning#treatment

    http://www.afrox.co.za/internet.glob...7719.pdf?v=2.0
    Last edited by RANGER1; 30-05-2018 at 08:25 PM.

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