Counterfeit R-134a, containing R-40 (methyl chloride or chloromethane), has been found in mobile air conditioners, stationary air conditioning, and transport refrigeration systems in many countries. For your personal safety and to avoid serious injury or death, special care must be taken when accessing the service ports to sample or work on systems that are not functioning properly or have been serviced by others. R-40 chemically reacts with aluminum inside HVACR systems, generating highly reactive and/or toxic compounds, and exposure of the system’s contents to air and/or moisture could result in production of a strong acid and violent chemical reaction. Several container systems have exploded at service facilities, some resulting in fatalities. Some of these systems were found to contain R-40 and/or other unacceptable substances.
Compounds such as R-40, R-22, R-142b, R-152a, and R-12 have been found mixed with R-134a in newly filled refrigerant cylinders marked as containing R-134a. There have also been instances of counterfeited brand-name R-134a cylinders sold containing refrigerants other than R-134a.